Rüppell’s Starling

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lamprotornis purpuroptera

  • SWAHILI NAME: Kuzi Mkia-mrefu

Rüppell’s starling was named after the German explorer Wilhelm Rüppell, who traveled in north Africa in the 1800s and is known for his zoological collections.

Rüppell’s Starling

Rüppell’s Starling



Daily Rhythm




Conservation Status

least concern


80-90 g


35 cm

Rüppell’s Starling

Trivia Question

Rüppell’s starlings are particularly fond of what kind of habitat?


Like many other birds, this starling finds foraging easier in short grass.

Social Structure

These birds are often found in small flocks.


Rüppell’s starlings have a range of songs that includes harsh sounds, sweet notes, and some mimicry. They can sometimes be heard in the middle of the night.


Active during the day, they are ground foragers that are always in motion, often in pairs or small groups.


Least concern


These starlings forage for insects and fruit, and look for food scraps at camp sites.


Monogamous pairs nest in tree holes or in holes formerly occupied by woodpeckers, and line nests with dung and sticks. While both parents incubate the eggs, females more often feed the chicks and are sometimes assisted by offspring from a previous brood.

Population in Kenya

This bird, like other starlings, is common in Kenya.

Range & Habitat

These birds are found in some parts of Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania.

Rüppell’s starlings prefer grasslands with some trees that are located near water, as well as cultivated lands and urban areas.

Did you know?

A flock of starlings is called a murmuration and can contain from a few hundred to millions of birds.