Rosamond Gifford Zoo

The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline.

The Honey Bee Cafe will be closed today. The Hofman Dog Haus will be open and Dippin' Dots are available in the Animal Health Center.

Superb Starling

Lamprotornis superbus

The Superb Starling is a small bird with metallic green and blue feathers on it’s chest, back, and wings, as well as a duller black on the top of it’s head. Additionally, the superb starling has white under the wing and tail base, with yellow eyes. The superb starling feeds in groups on the ground, often near towns and fields.

Range & Habitat

The Superb Starling is found in the regions of Northeast Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, and the Sudan. It is often found living in the woodland, thorny bush, and acacia country. Additionally, it can often be found near humans, even sometimes living within cities.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Superb Starling was listed as Least Concern in 2016 on the IUCN. The superb starling is abundant and widespread in its native habitat and is therefore in no immediate danger.


In the wild: Insects, berries, fruit, and seeds
At the zoo: Pellet-based diet with insects and chopped fruits and vegetables

Life Span

Both in the wild and in captivity, the superb starling can live up to 15 years. The superb starling lays 2 to 5 eggs at a time, which hatch after 13 -15 days of incubation.

Fun Facts about the Superb Starling

  • Newborn chicks receive alloparental care, meaning they are cared for by both parents and unrelated members of the group, called “helpers”.
  • Superb starlings are cooperative breeders, meaning there are other ranks of pairs, such as nonbreeding and non-helping individuals, who are ranked at different levels.
  • Males and females look alike, with similar bright colors, because both the male and female must compete to breed, instead of just the male.
  • Superb starling can sometimes be aggressive around other pairs, often taking over the nesting sites of other birds.


Guffey, W. (2018, September 25). Species fact sheets [PDF].

Superb starling [Fact sheet]. (n.d.). Conservation Society of California. Retrieved April 1, 2021, from

Superb starling [Fact sheet]. (n.d.). Utah's Hogle Zoo. Retrieved April 1, 2021, from

Updated June 13, 2023
Adjust cookies
Essential cookies
Session cookies,
Performance cookies
Google Analytics,
Functional cookies
Targeting cookies
We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.
You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. Accept