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Slide Kruger park day safari South African Tourism Award

Violet-backed Starling


Violet-backed starling [Cinnyricinclus leucogaster]


The Violet-backed starling is a small species of bird that is sexually dimorphic, with the males having a white underside, black beak, white legs, and an iridescent purple head and back. The female of this species has a white underside with a brown top and head with black stripes decorating the white. The Violet-backed starling is part of a large group of birds where the male is more colourful than the female.


The Violet-backed starling feeds mainly on fruits and will also feed on insects by grabbing the off of branches or out of the air. They will also take to feeding on termites.


Violet-backed starlings are solitary, monogamous breeders, usually breeding from October to January. Nests are up to 6m in the air. The females will lay up to 4 pale blue eggs in their nests and will incubate them for up to 14 days.


Violet-backed starlings are usually found in small flocks that are sexually segregated and rarely form large flocks. They are mainly found in pairs or family groups during mating season. The Violet-backed starling, unlike other glossy starlings, will spend very little time on the ground.

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