Greater Blue-eared Starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus)
aka Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling

The Greater Blue-eared Starling is a small, 9" (23cm) bird and one of the "Glossy Starlings". To appreciate the glossy effect, one must see them in good sunlight, its irridescent blue-green plumage having dark blue-purple ear-coverts and in front of the eyes - in poor light these lkook black. In good light, other colours can be seen in the plumage, including purples. The wings show rows of black spots. The underparts are purple-blue. The eyes are orange or yellow. Legs and feet are black.

Greater Blue-eared Starlings are sociable birds and happy to be near humans and habitation. They are often seen in the company of other birds and can be bullies, when a smaller bird has found a food source.

Greater Blue-eared Starlings eat seeds, fruit (especially figs), but mostly insects, taken from both the ground and trees. They will eat pretty much anything left for them by humans.

Greater Blue-eared Starlings are seen in Kenya's central, west and coastal areas, up to 3,000 metres. They prefer savanna, open bushland or cultivated areas, including garden.

Extra Greater Blue-eared Starling Facts
The Greater Blue-eared Starling's call is a memorable "pa-a-at", like a screetching old woman, whose husband's name is Pat...!
The Greater Blue-eared Starling often takes over old Woodpecker holes in trees, to nest in. The Great Spotted Cuckoo parasitises the Greater Blue-eared Starling (lays eggs in its nest).

Photographed at Kenya's Masai Mara and Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, glossy starling, greater blue-eared glossy starling, greater blue-eared starling, kenya, starling, wildlife

Greater Blue-eared Starling ~ Singing

Greater Blue-eared Starling, perched on rotten tree, singing.

Greater Blue-eared Starling ~ Looking

Greater Blue-eared Starling on the ground, looking over its shoulder to the camera.

Greater Blue-eared Starling ~ Eating

Greater Blue-eared Starling in a bush, with beak full of fruit or seeds.

Greater Blue-eared Starling ~ Portrait

Greater Blue-eared Starling portrait, perched side-on, in a tree, with sunlight showing irridescent colours.

Greater Blue-eared Starling ~ Digging

Greater Blue-eared Starling digging at Elephant dung for insects.