Backyard Birds

Golden-breasted or Royal Starlings

The Golden-breasted Starlings or Royal Starling, (Cosmopsarus regius) can be found in the grassland areas, savanna, and shrubland of East Africa – from Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and northern Tanzania.

The Golden-breasted Starlings are social birds that live in groups of three to twelve individuals.

They are widespread throughout their range and are, therefore, evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


This is a medium-sized starling that is up to 35 cm long, including its tail.

The adult has a metallic green head and upper back, bright golden yellow breast and belly, dark bill and legs, white iris, and metallic violet blue on wings, back, neck, and its long tail feathers. Males and females look alike.

Immature birds are duller than adults.

They molt once a year, after the breeding season.

Breeding / Nesting

Golden-breasted Starlings nest in tree holes; and their nests are made from leaves, roots, and other vegetation matters.

The female usually lays between three to five pale green eggs with red speckles.

Diet / Feeding

Its diet consists mainly of insects, including termites.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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