A medium-sized iridescent blue to glossy green bird with beautifully contrasting royal blue to violet flanks!

Meet the Greater blue-eared starling

The greater Blue-eared starling (Lamprotornis chalybaeus), is a glossy blue-green bird with a purple-blue belly and blue ear patch with contrasting royal blue to violet flanks. The eyes are a bright yellow-orange color.

Both males and females are quite similar, while juvenile birds are duller with blackish to brown bellies.

The Greater Blue-eared starling is endemic from Senegal all the way east to Ethiopia, and south through eastern Africa to northeastern South Africa and Angola.

This species likes open woodland whereas an omnivorous bird, they feed on a range of invertebrates, seeds and berries, and figs.

Though insects, in general, are its main food source.

The Greater Blue-eared starling tends to nest in tree cavities or abandoned nests of barbets and woodpeckers. The female lays a clutch of up to 3-5 eggs that are green-blue in color with purple spots. The eggs are then incubated for 13-14 days before hatching. Fledglings then leave the nest after about 13-14 days.

These birds are often found perching on livestock feeding on insects disturbed by these animals, and occasionally removing ectoparasites.

Due to its wide range, this bird is at least threat on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.