Backyard BirdsUncategorized

Long-tailed Glossy Starlings




The Long-tailed Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis caudatus) occur in tropical Africa. They are also known as Supple-tailed Glossy Starlings, Long-tailed Purple Starlings, or Northern Long-tailed Glossy Starlings.

Alternate (Global) Names


Distribution / Range

The Long-tailed Glossy Starling range stretches from Senegal east to Sudan, where they are resident (non-migratory).

They are endemic to the following African countries:

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, (northern) Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, (northern) Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, (southern) Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegambia (Senegal and Gambia), (west and east-central) Sudan and Togo.

They are vagrants to:

Sierra Leone

They are typically found in open woodland and cultivated areas.


Nesting / Breeding

Long-tailed Glossy Starling typically nest in tree cavities. The average clutch consists of 2 – 4 eggs.


Call / Vocalization

Their vocalizations are harsh grating calls.



The adults measure about 21 inches (54 cm) in length – including the ~ 13-inch (34 cm) tail.

The plumage above is metallic green; and the plumage below is mostly violet. The tail is glossy purple. The face is black. The eyes are yellow.

Males and females look alike.

Juveniles have a duller plumage with a brownish hue.


Diet / Feeding

The Long-tailed Glossy Starling are fairly omnivorous, eating a variety of fruits, plant matter and insects.


Alternate (Global) Names

Chinese: ????? … Czech: Leskoptev dlouhoocasá … Danish: Langhalet Glansstær … Dutch: Groene Langstaartglansspreeuw, Groene Langstaart-glansspreeuw … Finnish: Pitkäpyrstökottarainen … French: Choucador à longue queue, Étourneau métallique à longue queue, Merle métallique à longue queue … German: Langschwanz-Glanzstar … Italian: Storno splendente codalunga, Storno splendido codalunga … Japanese: onagaterimuku … Norwegian: Langhaleglansstær, Langhalet glansstær … Polish: blyszczak dlugosterny, b?yszczak d?ugosterny … Russian: ????????????? ????????? ??????? … Slovak: liskavec dlhochvostý … Spanish: Estornino Brillante de Cola Larga, Estornino Colilargo … Swedish: Långstjärtad glansstare


Additional Resources

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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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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