Hildebrandt’s Starling

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lamprotornis hildebrandti

  • SWAHILI NAME: Kwenzi-jangwa

This species, which is often mistaken for the superb starling, is named for Johannes Hildebrandt, who was born in Dusseldorf in 1847 and was the first European collector to obtain specimens.

Hildebrandt’s Starling

Hildebrandt’s Starling



Daily Rhythm





50-69 g


Length: 18 cm

Hildebrandt’s Starling

Trivia Question

How has this bird been commemorated in Africa?


Many countries in Africa have produced beautiful stamps depicting wildlife.

Social Structure

Hildebrandt’s starlings are often seen in pairs or small flocks, and sometimes join superb starlings while feeding.


Calls include a pattern of low, short notes that can end in tentative rising notes.


A ground forager, this bird sometimes feeds with other starlings, including greater blue-eared starlings, superb starlings, and wattled starlings.


Least concern


Hildebrandt’s starlings consume mainly insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers, and termites, including insects that have been disturbed by mammals.


Hildebrandt’s starlings build a nest of hair or plant fibers in old woodpecker holes in trees or holes in fence posts or other wood structures. Both parents feed the chicks after the eggs hatch.

Friends & Foes

Great spotted cuckoos parasitize nests.

Population in Kenya

They are found in only the central and south-central regions of Kenya.

Range & Habitat

These birds are found only in Kenya and Tanzania.

Hildebrandt’s starlings frequent bush and open woodland, and also visit cattle enclosures, possibly to forage for insects.

Did you know?

Like many other birds, Hildebrandt’s starlings can catch and consume insect prey while in mid-flight, a hunting method that is called hawking.