IN FACT, THE TWO SEXES OF THIS SPECIES COULDN’T LOOK ANY MORE DIFFERENT IF THEY TRIED!
While the male wears his violet-toned suit with pride the female tends to blend into her environment making her harder to find.
MEET THE VIOLET-BACKED STARLING
The male’s violet back contrasts nicely with his white belly and vent. While the female and juveniles of this species have brown and white streaked bellies, looking more like a thrush. All, however, share the distinctive dark bill and yellow eyes.
This species can be found throughout much of Sub-Saharan African, preferring to stay away from the dense rainforest of the Congo Basin, and more arid parts of the region.
In these areas, the Violet-backed starling feeds predominantly on seeds, fruits, berries, and arthropods, mainly in the tree canopy. In fact, they are an important dispersal agent for mistletoe plants.
Mainly a migratory bird, though some areas do have resident birds, the female will build her nest two meters off the ground, usually in the fork of a tree. The nest is made out of green leaves and animal dung. She then incubates a clutch of two to four eggs, blue with reddish/brown spots, for 12-14 days.
She’s not left to do all the work on her own though, as the male will help feed the chicks until they are fully fledged at about 21 days old.
Thankfully the population of this stunning bird is not thought to currently be at risk.