Violet-backed Starling ( Cinnyricinclus leucogaster, family: Sturnidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Plum-coloured Starling

violet backed starling kruger national park birds The Violet-backed Starling (Latin name Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 761 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 968 also a picture of the Violet-backed Starling on page 976. The Violet-backed Starling belongs to the family of birds classified as Sturnidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Violet-backed Starling is also known by these other names: Amethyst Starling, Violet Starling.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Violet-backed Starling was called the Plum-coloured Starling

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Violet-backed Starling is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common summer visitor

In terms of distribution of the Violet-backed Starling in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Violet-backed Starling : see above distribution map.

The Violet-backed Starling.

Female Violet Backed Starling Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Violet-backed Starling is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Violet-backed Starling is about 18 cms and its weight is about 45 gms

You will find that the male Violet-backed Starling plumage and colours are different to that of the female Violet-backed Starling

  • Head is purple.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is purple.
  • Back is purple.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Violet-backed Starling feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly



Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Violet-backed Starling is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Cinnyricinclus leucogaster will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Violet-backed Starling is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are red in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Violet-backed Starling are: woodlands and grasslands and riverine areas. The Violet-backed Starling is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the Violet-backed Starling in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Witborsspreeu

German ... Amethystglanzstar

Portuguese ... Estorinho-de-dorso-violeta

French ... Spro amthyste

Dutch ... Amethistspreeuw

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 761

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,