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The Zoo has a group of 3 males and 6 females. All were hatched at the San Diego Zoo between June 2007 and August 2008. They arrived at the Zoo on December 18, 2008.
Look for us in the canopy of the Tropical Rainforest.
McNeil Avian Center
This small starling may look similar to our common European starling at first glance but a closer look reveals shining, metallic highlights reflecting in the sun. Their bright red eyes contrast with the black plumage. Males and females look alike but immature birds have brown streaks on a mainly white breast. Because they live and feed in large colonies, they are an important seed disperser for many of the tropical fruit trees on which they feed.
These gregarious birds flock year-round and nest in colonies. They often form fast moving flocks that fly, swooping through the treetops.
The metallic starling breeds in large colonies, building their woven nests in tall trees. A single colony has been known to house as many as 400 nests. In these nests, the female lays 1 to 3 pale blue eggs.
Approximately 9 inches in length
Approximately 2 ounces
In the wild, metallic starlings feed mainly on fruit and insects. At the Zoo, the base diet for the starlings is a commercial fruit based pellet manufactured specifically for fruit eating birds. The enrichment portion of the diet includes a variety of fruit and insects.
Widespread in a variety of habitats, from rainforest to coastal woodland, on New Guinea and off-shore islands.
To learn more about the conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo, click here.
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