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#1209 Superb Starling (Artis Zoo - Amsterdam)

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Superb Starling at the Artis Royal Zoo, Amsterdam (Holland)

The Superb Starling is a member of the starling family of birds. It can commonly be found in East Africa, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. It was formerly known as Spreo Superbus. This species is 18 to 19 cm (7,1 to 7,5 in) long. Adults have black heads and iridescent blue-to-green back, upper breast, wings, and tail. The belly is red-orange, separated from the blue breast by a white bar. The undertail coverts and the wing linings are white. Juveniles have duller plumage with no more than a suggestion of the white breast band. Their irises are brown, later grayish white, eventually the adult's purple. The superb starling has a long and loud song consisting of trills and chatters. At midday it gives a softer song of repeated phrases. This species feeds primarily on the ground, often below, or in the vicinity of, acacia trees. It is gregarious and is generally rather tame and unafraid of people.