Superb starlings take centre stage
Wednesday 21 September 2005
London Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of eight superb starlings to the African bird safari.
These beautiful birds have actually been with ZSL for six weeks but have only just been introduced to the public after spending one month in quarantine at the ZSL hospital and two weeks acclimatising to their new enclosure.
The superb starling displays vivid colouring, with metallic greens and blues on its chest, back and wings and a duller black on top of its head. It has a chestnut belly and pale yellow eyes and as a flock bird, they are a welcome addition to the aviary, adding additional colour and a distinct call.
They are already settling in by collecting nest making material, whilst potential courtship behaviour involves small jumps on the ground, trailing wings and an outstretched neck.
Far from being endangered, apparently the only way not to see a superb starling in their native Kenya is to keep your eyes closed!
London Zoo was lucky enough to receive eight of the starlings from the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) who obtained them as part of a larger group during a customs confiscation.