Meet The Great Blue-Eared Starling, The Peak Of Blue Majesty In Birds

The Greater Blue-eared Starling also called the Greater Blue-Eared Starling, is found across Sub-Saharan Africa from southern Mauritian and Senegal to Ethiopia, and south through eastern Africa to north-eastern South Africa and Angola. The rainforests bordering the Gulf of Guinea and the Congo River Basin are devoid of them.

The larger Blue-eared starling is a stunning bird with amazing plumage that must be seen to be believed. It belongs to the Sturnidae family and is one of the most colorful members.

The larger Blue-eared starling is a gorgeous bird with remarkable plumage that has to be seen to be believed. It is common within its habitat but exceptionally striking to birders who are unaware with just how colorful starlings can be. The larger Blue-eared starling is one of the most colorful members of the Sturnidae family, with a variety of facts that might surprise birders.

Lamprotornis chalybaeus is the scientific name for this species. Greater Blue-Eared Starling, Greater Blue-Eared Glossy-Starling, Green Glossy Starling, Blue-eared Starling are all common names for the same bird. Life expectancy is between two and three years. 8.5-9.5 inches in length. Weight ranges from 2.7 to 5.6 ounces. 15-17 inches in length. The conservation status of this species is "least concern."

These starlings are easily identified. First, their upright stance, strong beak, and short tail assist to distinguish them from other starlings, and their brilliant colors are essential for identification. In favorable light, both genders have teal-blue upper parts with a dazzling glossy, metallic iridescence. The eyes are surrounded by a blue-black mask-like face patch that extends across the auriculars. Two wing bars are formed by evenly spaced, somewhat homogeneous black dots. The abdomen and flanks are blue-purple, while the underparts are darker. Depending on the viewing angle and quality of light the plumage of this bird may have varied colors or degrees of coloring. The legs and feet are gray-black, and the eyes are brilliant yellow or yellow-orange with a dark pupil.

Adult birds have iridescent underparts whereas juvenile birds have sooty brown-gray underparts. The pupil may not show out as quickly since the eye is darker. Musical warbles, grating croaks, nasal mews, and a variety of whistled notes are among the jumbled songs and cries of these loud starlings. Call notes are often shorter and more abrupt but they can come in a variety of lengths and styles.

These starlings may be found in a variety of habitats including open deciduous forests, riparian regions, dry savannahs, and places close to human settlements in cities and villages. Year-round they may be found from Senegal and southern Mauritania west to eastern Eritrea and Ethiopia in Sub-Saharan Africa. Their range is from Mozambique and Botswana in the south to northern Namibia and southern Angola in the east.

A tiny section of this bird's range spreads south after the mating season, particularly in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, and northern Cameroon. The larger Blue-eared starling population has only one migratory component. These are sociable birds that congregate in big flocks and roosts which can make identification difficult. They are frequently mixed with many other starling species. The bigger flocks may be rather noisy due to their strong voices and wide range of sounds in their vocal repertoire.

Greater blue-eared starlings are omnivorous birds that will eat whatever they can get their hands on. Insects, seeds, berries, fruit, small animals, and tiny reptiles are all part of their diet and they may even try a variety of other things. These birds feed in trees or on the ground and they prefer to stroll rather than hop when doing so. They will even descend on grazing animals to take insects and parasites off of them.

These starlings are cavity-nesting birds who exploit natural cavities or old woodpecker or barbet nesting holes. Greater blue-eared starlings have also been seen breeding in wide gaps in ibis and storks' broad stick nests. Dry grass, feathers, and other nesting materials are used by both males and females to line the nesting hole.

Each brood has 2-5 eggs that are green-blue with deeper brown or purple spots. The eggs are incubated for 13-14 days by the female parent, and when the altricial young hatch, both parents deliver nourishment to the chicks for another 22-24 days. The baby starlings are ready to leave the nest at that point, but they will stay with their parents to learn about the best-foraging sites and food kinds.

Although their breeding behavior and reproductive success have not been widely researched, these starlings are expected to produce several broods. Great spotted cuckoos and to a lesser extent, larger honey guides parasitize their broods on occasion. Despite these potential nesting risks the brood parasites have no significant influence on starling numbers. These birds are neither endangered nor threatened and the increasing presence of agricultural animals is actually helping to extend their range and populations. These birds will quickly accompany livestock herds to new regions because they eat freely on insects from grazing animals.

What is the best way to locate this bird? Because larger blue-eared starlings are so common and aren't intimidated by human presence birders who visit their region will have little trouble finding them. Keep an eye out for foraging birds especially around cattle or grazing animals and take note of their vivid colors to help you identify them.

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