ANIMAL: Emerald Starling Lamprotornis iris Type of Animal: Songbird Habitat: Savanna, grassland, lowlands, woodland, orchard bush, forest edge, agricultural areas Location(s): N Sierra Leone, extreme NW Liberia, E Guinea, C Ivory Coast Appearance: Mostly metallic green except for black legs & purple underbelly/ear coverts, juveniles brown below w/ mixed brown-green above & green wings, one of smallest starling species, narrow beak Food/Diet: Fruit, berries, seeds, grains, vegetables, insects, eggs Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & aviculture Lifestyle: Flocks of 15-20 birds Additional Info: Called: Male: Cock Female: Hen Young: Chick Group: Flock Weight: Less than 1 oz Gestation: 2 weeks Life Span: 7-14 years Height: 7-7.5 in Body Length: 7-7.5 in Tail Length: 1.75-1.875 in Main predators are predatory birds, snakes, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals. Cup-shaped nests usually built in tree cavities/stumps/trunks. Females have brood patches on stomach helping transfer body heat to eggs. Also called the Iris Glossy Starling. Have calls for pre-flight, danger, & keeping in contact. Sexually mature at 6 months old. Chicks fledge at 3 weeks & leave nest as young as 5 weeks but often stay for a few more months. Older siblings sometimes act as helpers for younger siblings. Females usually lay 2-4 reddish-brown patched blue eggs. Though limited in range, they’re quite common. Courtship involves passing green vegetation back & forth. Fun Fact(s): Has special muscles allowing opening of beak to probe soil for insects/seeds. Sometimes kept as pets.