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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PASSERIFORMES > STURNIDAE > EMERALD STARLING [Coccycolius iris]


Emerald Starling Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Iris Glossy-starling, Coccycolius iris, is also known as the Emerald Starling. It is a small starling with a metallic green crown, upper body, wings and tail. The ear-coverts and underparts are metallic purple. Both sexes are similar. Its placement in a monotypic genus Coccycolius is disputed; some unite it with many other glossy-starlings in Lamprotornis.

One of the smallest species among starlings, the Iris Glossy-starling is distributed in West Africa. It inhabits lowlands and savanna of Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The Iris Glossy-starling feeds on figs, Haronga berries and other fruit, seeds, ants and small insects such as ants. The cup-shaped nest is built in a tree cavity.

It is classified as "data deficient" by the IUCN. This means that it is unlikely to be seriously threatened with extinction, but that its status in the wild is in need of assessment. In the Iris Gloss-starling's case, it appears that the species is plentiful enough for the time being, but that it seems that a considerable and possibly unsustainable number of birds being caught for the cage bird trade (BirdLife International 2004). The "data deficient" status has been upheld since 2000 (BirdLife International 2007), indicative of the prolonged wars and unrest in its range which have this far prevented comprehensive field studies.

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