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Cape Glossy Starling | Lamprotornis nitens

The Cape Glossy Starling is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Sturnidae bird family group which includes birds such as Starlings, Mynans, Oxpeckers.

The description for the Cape Glossy Starling (Latin name Lamprotornis nitens) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Lamprotornis nitens can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 764 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 963. You will find a picture of the Cape Glossy Starling on page 976.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Glossy Starling in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Cape Glossy Starling between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Cape Glossy Starling is known in Afrikaans as Kleinglansspreeu.

The Cape Glossy Starling is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Lamprotornis nitens can be found in other parts of the world.

The Cape Glossy Starling has a height of 25 cms and weighs around 90 gms. The head is coloured blue while the bill is coloured black. The Lamprotornis nitens has a blue coloured throat, black legs and a blue coloured back. The eyes are orange.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is blue

Eyes are orange

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is blue

Back is blue

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Cape Glossy Starling is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

The Lamprotornis nitens forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Cape Glossy Starling is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 6 eggs and they are coloured blue.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Cape Glossy Starling is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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