Golden-breasted starling

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Golden-breasted starling
Cosmopsarus regius -Bird Kingdom, Niagara Falls, Canada-8a.jpg
At Bird Kingdom, Niagara Falls, Canada
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Lamprotornis
L. regius
Binomial name
Lamprotornis regius
Reichenow, 1879

Cosmopsarus regius

Golden-breasted Starling Cosmopsarus regius Back 1000px.jpg

The golden-breasted starling (Lamprotornis regius), also known as royal starling, is a medium-sized, up to 35 cm long, passerine in the starling family.


The adult has a metallic green head and upper back, bright golden yellow breast and belly, dark bill and legs, white iris and metallic violet blue on wings, back, neck and its long tail feathers. Both sexes are similar. The young are duller than the adult.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The golden-breasted starling is distributed in the grassland, savannah and shrubland of East Africa, from Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and northern Tanzania.


The golden-breasted starling is a social animal, living in groups of three to twelve individuals.


The golden-breasted starling molts once a year, after the breeding season. The female usually lays between three and five pale green eggs with red speckles. It nests in tree holes. The nest is made from leaves, roots and other vegetation. Entire family groups cooperate in raising young by gathering food and nesting materials.[1]


Its diet consists mainly of insects and termites. Adult birds catch insects in flight and dig up termite mounds to find prey.[1]

Status and conservation[edit]

Widespread throughout its habitat range, the golden-breasted starling is evaluated as being of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


  • BirdLife International (2004). "Cosmopsarus regius". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 12 February 2007. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

External links[edit]