Hildebrandt’s Starling is colorful bird found in Kenya and Tanzania. Its habitat is open woodland and thornbrush country. The adult has bright iridescent plumage on its upper body. This iridescence is derived from the interference of reflected light from regimented microscopic feather structures and not from pigments.
The head is blue as are most of the upperparts, the wings are bronze-green with blue primaries, the throat and upper breast are glossy purple, and the tail is glossy blue-green. The middle breast and upper belly are orange-buff and the lower belly is rufous. The iris is orange-red, and the bill and legs are black. Male and female adults are identical in external appearance.
The diet of Hildebrandt’s Starling is a combination of insects and fruit, with insects apparently being the more important constituent. It has been observed feeding on beetles and grasshoppers, as well as hawking for flying termites. Seeds from fruit have also been found in the stomachs of some birds. It usually feeds on the ground, in pairs and small flocks, and will readily follow large mammals and catch prey flushed by their movement. It also joins mixed flocks of other starlings. Source
Also known as Burchell’s Glossy-starling, Burchell’s Starling is a species of Sturnid bird native to parts of Southern Africa. Like several species of starling it has highly iridescent feathers and an almost blue coloration.
Species: Lamprotornis nitens
The Cape glossy starling is one of the many starlings of southern Africa. Like most starlings, they do well around humans. They are found in a wide range of habitat types, but they do need tall trees to nest in. I photographed this one near the birdbath in Lower Sabie rest camp, KNP. It was a very warm afternoon, and the sun was beating down. This guy is clearly trying to thermoregulate, and was in the dappled shade with his mouth open and feathers ruffled, panting.
Kruger National Park, ZA
Welcome to my Flickr 365 Project! I’m calling it my 365 Species Project, because for each day of the year, I will post a photo of a different species of organism. Today’s photo is actually on time, although I had to dig into the Africa archives to find a species. I had the day off for President’s Day, and it turned out to be quite a good day. Hopefully soon I’ll get out on a major photo expedition. I’m running low on species!