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golden-breasted starling, royal starling
The golden-breasted starling is a small bird with a bright, blue tail and a blue back. It has a green head, white eyes, blue-violet wings, and a yellow breast, belly, and upper tail covers.
30-37.5 cm (12-15 in.); wingspan 11.5-13 cm (4.6-5.6 in.)
Mostly feeds on insects and fruits
Approximately 3 weeks
Inhabits arid regions
In some regions, starlings are also referred to as grackles.
Starlings live in small family groups of 3-12 members and are very noisy.
Golden-breasted starlings exhibit cooperative breeding, where group members assist with nest-building and feeding the young. In this sort of arrangement, breeding females often solicit food from other members of the group to feed to the young. She crouches and quivers while gaping and vocalizing. The group either ignores her and feeds the young themselves, or gives her part of the food to feed the young, or gives her all the food.
Starlings live mainly on insects, termites being a favorite. They catch the termites by opening their ground tunnels with rapid flicks of their bill.
Golden-breasted starlings nest in tree holes, often made and abandoned by woodpeckers.
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
Although starlings and mynah birds, are native to Africa and southeast Asia, some were intentionally introduced to North America, Hawaii, and Australia to aid in insect control.
Birds of the World
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Birds - Their Latin Names Explained
. Poole, Dorst: Blandford Press, 1981.
Birds: Their Life, Their Ways, Their World
. New York: The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. 1979.
Perrins, C. M. and A. L.A. Middleton, eds.
The Encyclopedia of Birds
. New York: Facts on File Pub. 1985.
Perrins, C. M.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds: The Definitive Reference to Birds of the World
. New York: Prentice Hall Press. 1990.