ANIMAL:Violet-Backed/Amethyst Starling Cinnyricinclus leucogaster
Type of Animal:
Woodlands, savanna, savannah forest edges, forests/forest edges/forest clearings, wooded parkland, riverine areas, river valleys, agricultural areas, gardens, can be found as high as 9.842.52 ft
Sub-Saharan Africa, Yemen, SW Saudi Arabia, accidental in UAE
Males range from plum-violet to purple blue except for white belly/vent, females/juveniles have brown-streaked white bellies & darker brown streaked upper bodies, both sexes have lemon-yellow eyes & dark bills
Fruits, berries, seeds, buds, sprouts, vegetables, greens, insects, insect larvae, worms, spiders, snails, tree frogs, lizards, carrion, young birds, eggs, baby mice
Status in Wild:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks
Flocks of 2-20 birds
Male: 2 oz
Female: 1.2 oz
2 weeksLife Span:
7-8 years in wild, 14-20 years in captivity
Main predators are predatory birds, snakes, crocodiles, monitor lizards, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals.
Also called Plum-Colored Starling.
Nest in spots like tree holes, holes in river shorelines, & even old cavity fence posts. Nests covered w/ poop/leaves/other plant material.
Females lay 2-4 oval-shaped eggs each breeding season.
Chicks usually fledge at 3 weeks.
Sexually mature at 10-12 months though males don’t develop adult plumage until age 2.
Courtship involves male hovering over female while singing. When perched, he’ll raise a wing & then other wing in quick succession followed by wing beating while calling. Female hops towards male while rapidly beating her wings in response.
Due to diet, they’re important seed dispersers.
While both parents rear chicks, only female incubates eggs.
Genus name combines Cinnyris (genus of sunbirds) & Latin cinclus (meaning thrush due to thrush-like appearance)-Cinnyricinclus. Leucogaster is Ancient Greek for white belly.