Species group: Starlings and Mynahs
Other common names: Spreo Starling, Superb Spreo Starling
Scientific name: Lamprotornis superbus
The Superb Starling is an eye-catching choice for aviaries that can meet this stunning and highly social bird's need for a spacious setting and a specialized softbill diet.
This bold starling is a common and highly visible resident of northeastern Africa that is easily encountered at elevations below 2,200 meters.
These iridescent birds are shimmering shades of dark blue on the nape and upper parts, with a slim white breast band to emphasize the brilliant reddish-orange belly. Its light eye stands out in its dark face.
18 centimeters (7 in.)
64.5 grams (2.3 oz.)
10 - 15 years
Behavior / temperament:
Their bold and confiding personality, and the way the bird seems to look you directly in the eye, can make the Superb Starling very attractive to the collector. You can train them to come to your hand for mealworm treats.
Be aware that they are social birds and need to be part of a flock. They shouldn't be isolated or neglected.
Like some of the other Starlings and Mynahs, Superbs have been reported to mimic other birds in their enclosure.
This beautiful Starling is often considered a choice for very large, planted mixed-species aviaries because it is known to be a confident little bird that can hold its own with other birds without harassing them. Nonetheless, you should always monitor the situation when the birds are breeding, in case an individual or pair behaves out of character and challenges others in the aviary.
They are not suited to life as an individual pet bird in small cages.
The Superb Starling is often seen on the ground hunting for insects, which gives you an idea of its core diet-- high protein items like insects, including termites. However, they also enjoy berries, small fruits, and so on, and even wild birds are known to approach humans for hand-outs in tourist areas.
You should be prepared to offer a balanced omnivore's diet including a low-iron softbill pellet, chopped fruits and vegetables, and live food treats like mealworms, crickets, or other grubs. With any softbill species, it is imperative to network with other experts for the latest information on how to provide a healthy diet.
Written by Elaine Radford