Emerald starling in exhibit

Emerald Starling

Scientific Name
Lamprotornis iris
Western Africa
Open savannas and woodlands
Estimated Wild Population
Emerald starling in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Emerald starlings were named for their vibrant colors—green, iridescent feathers on their crown, chest, and wings and purple markings on their belly and around their eyes. In the wild, these birds live in flocks of 15–20 members, although they occasionally gather to form larger groups. They build their nest in small holes in tree stumps and tree trunks.

Did You Know?

Emerald starlings catch insects mid-flight and use their strong beak to probe for underground seeds.

Females possess a brood patch—a spot on their stomach without feathers—that helps them transfer body heat to their eggs.

They are likely threatened by the illegal wildlife trade and mining activities in parts of their range.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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