Emerald starling in exhibit

Emerald Starling

Scientific Name
Lamprotornis iris
Geographic Range
Western Africa
Fruit and seeds (also insects)
Emerald starling in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Emerald starlings are small, short-legged perching birds named for their vibrant colors— including green, iridescent feathers on their crown, chest, and wings, and purple markings on their belly and around their eyes. They are found in a variety of habitats, especially in tall trees, but avoid forests.

They are often found in pairs but up to 100 birds may flock together. These birds build nests in tree cavities and line them with vegetation. Females lay up to four eggs per clutch and incubate them for two weeks. Chicks fledge after two weeks.

Did You Know?

  • These birds have been observed helping to feed chicks, which may indicate that they are cooperative breeders.
  • Females possess a brood patch—a spot on their stomach without feathers—which helps them transfer body heat to their eggs.
  • Emerald starlings are common and have a large native range.


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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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