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The Cape Glossy Starling

The Cape Glossy Starling
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-10-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 160
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger NP 2009
Theme(s): Metallic wonders of nature 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-05-03 16:57
Viewed: 8392
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 86
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Cape Glossy Starling / Lamprotornis nitens

The Cape Glossy Starling is the 17th in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park, which I am currently sharing. Enjoy!

This is one of those birds one cannot miss whilst touring the Kruger National Park, as its metallic colouration is so spectacular and each time displays differently depending how the light is shining on its plumage. Taking photographs of these birds many times are fun, especially portrait shots, as they have the oddest, sometimes funny, sometimes serious and sometimes even the ugliest facial expressions imaginable. One can not miss the piercing stare of those orange-yellow eyes. They are also very photogenic; add the striking yellow eye and you have a showpiece. But, sometimes it is really difficult to capture the correct colouration of the luminous sheen of the bird's plumage.

The Cape Glossy Starling belongs to the family of birds classified as Sturnidae. According to the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, it is also known by these other names: Red-shouldered Glossy Starling and Red-shouldered Starling (although the sometimes slightly reddish shoulder are mostly not observed).

Near endemic species is one that is confined to a specific geographical region rather than a single country for example. Certain birds in The Kruger National Park are near endemic to Mozambique, and Zimbabwe for example. One such example is the Cape Glossy Starling and this species depends upon a certain type of habitat for survival. Destroy that habitat and the bird becomes endangered. You may not see it in all areas in the park. The height of the bird is about 25cm and its weight is about 90grams. The male and female have the same plumage and colours. They are difficult to distinguish in a field unless seen at close range.

Feeding Habits
They feed on the ground and in foliage mainly invertebrates, fruits and nectar.

Breeding Habitat and Nesting Habits
The Cape Glossy Starling is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying they will seek out a new mate. The nesting habit is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays eggs which are blue in colour and number between 2-6.

Their preferred habitats are: woodlands and grasslands and riverine areas, but is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

Names of this avian species in other languages
Afrikaans ... Kleinglansspreeu
Xhosa ... Inyakrili/Inyakrini
Zulu ... iKhwezi/iKhwinsi
German ... Rotschulter-Glanzstar
Portuguese ... Estorninho-metlico
French ... Choucador paulettes rouges
Dutch ... Roodschouder-Glansspreeuw


I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

jlinaresp, deshoi, Argus, Dis. Ac., Jamesp, cirano, siggi, mwmod99, matatur, albert, marius-secan, ubc64, Luis52, jaycee, tuslaw, CeltickRanger, Mamagolo2, Noisette, boreocypriensis, Adanac, KOMSIS, mamcg, maurydv, Art_R, vanda, bartove, brech has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
TO ANNAmarius-secan 1 05-04 14:06
To ellis49: Big prizeMiss_Piggy 2 05-04 08:26
To mwmod99: ThanksMiss_Piggy 1 05-04 01:59
To heimann2: Red shouldersMiss_Piggy 1 05-04 00:36
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-05-03 17:33]

Hi Anna,
lovely sharpness and excellent colour rendition. i like the glossy feathers so much. It is so different and so special. The great staring is very sharp.
Well seen in superb details. The earth as the background really pushes this dramatic coloured bird into a lively one.
Well done for such an exciting view.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2010-05-03 19:11]

Hi Anna,
What an outstanding bird. Beautiful glossy sheen on the plumage.
Love the metallic blue. And that huge bright yellow eye!
Perfect pose against a clean BG. Great presentation.
Am really enjoying your Kruger Park Birds series.
TFS. : )

Hello Anna,
What a beautiful color, awesome! beautiful bird, well photographed! ... although this time the tail feathers have been too close to the edge! Be careful MF in future shots! :)
TFS, Regards, Jesús

Hi Anna,
A great POV of this metallic colour Cape, like what you mention how the light is shining on its plumage and the orange-yellow eyes are outstanding.
Can feel of your pleasure in taking it.
TFS. hope to see more of nice photo in future. deshoi

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-05-03 21:47]

Hello Anna,
You are lucky to have these avian jewels in your country! You made a fine capture of a Cape Glossy Starling, the POV showing its spendid iridescent colours with superb clarity against the natural earthy BG and the eye contact is great.
Nice to view and TFS!
Best regards,

Hi Anna,

very good from colour, pov and sharpness image.
You have been brought good the metallic colours.
Exellent pictue.


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2010-05-03 22:58]

Hi Anna

Great low POV with good eye contact and nice detail.

Best wishes


Hi Anna,
what a beautiful bird with his brilliant plumage. Fascinating look.
Thanks for showing us this bird
PS: where are the red shoulders as mentionned in other languages (german...)

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-05-04 0:03]

Hi Anna,
What a different starling with splendid colors and eyes.Excellent sharp details and very good composition.Very well done!...

Hi Anna, what a great shot. Its always difficult to get detail in dark feathers, but you have done a good job here.
We often find these birds at picnic spots in Kruger National Park where they tend to be quite tame.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-05-04 0:35]

Hello Anna,
excellent shot of this Cape Glossy Starling :) with wonderful sharpness, excellent DOF/POV and composition. Thanks for sharing this fine image.
Best regards Siggi

Very impressive and striking image of this fantastic Glossy Starling, Anna. I especially love the bird posture and the brilliant simple background, which often can destroy the beautiful photo. Blue and Brown ! Just Fantastic ! Impressive notes too, Anna.Very professional approach in my view indeed.
George Veltchev

A beautiful bird with blue, iridescent feathers Anna, quite expertly taken on the ground from a low vantage point with perfect focus and exposure, which resulted in a "textbook" presentation. TFS indeed my friend, please convey my best regards to Loot.

Ciao Anna, great capture of lovely bird with wonderful yellow eyes and fantastic metallic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hello Anna,
Great exposure! you have managed to avoid light reflexion from the shining plumage which is often the case with this bird standing under full sun
Well done and TFS
Kind regards

Hallo Anna,
I wish I could see this beauty in reality.
You manged to get the right exposure so we can see all the shimmering blue tones and the wonderful eye is just amazing.
You composed this well and the POV is also nice.
Very good sharpness and fine DOF, the bird stand out nicely.
I'm still waiting for pictures taken with the big prize. :-)


Hi anna,
perfect color,
nice species.

Hello Anna,
Wonderful capture with amazing colours and very good clarity.
Lovely bird. Very nice composition.

  • Great 
  • ubc64 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 21 N: 208] (789)
  • [2010-05-04 15:09]

Hi Anna,

It's hard to believe that a bird could have such iridescent plumage! You've done a great job of capturing it in just the right light. Very crisp and colourful image, with a nicely blurred BG. If this bird is like our European Starlings, it can be quite skittish. So, you did well to get so close to it. The bird is sure watching you carefully. Very carefully done composition. TFS.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-05-04 15:42]

Hola Anna.

Excellent and beautiful image of this bird of black plumage. A great job done to make this beautiful image
Interesting note written as always.
Greetings Anna.


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-05-04 16:44]

Hi Anna,

This Starling seems to enjoy being the center of attraction. The pose is wonderful with that yellow eye shining at you. The magnetic colors are amazing with beautiful shadings. Super sharp details of the face and feathers which show up perfectly against the neutral background.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-05-04 20:45]

Hello Anna,
Another gorgeous bird from your trip to Kruger. It's hard to imagine a bird with a plumage as iridescent as this. I would have to guess that you could spot one of these guys from a long distance off.
Funny how they have almost the exact same body shape as our Grackles do here in the States. This guy actually looks like he ought to glow in the dark. Excellent detail, nicely composed and taken from an attractive low POV.

  • Great 
  • krall Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 190 W: 0 N: 47] (1286)
  • [2010-05-05 2:45]

Hi Anna,

Good photo. .)

a really great and interesting specie!!
wonderful tonality!

compliments and thank for sharing these interesting species



hello Anna

excellent close-up photo of this Starling with metallic
both plumage and eye colour tones, very fine POV, DOF,
superbly focused with great sharpness and details, TFS


Hello Anna
Fantastic first floor with great POV. Excellent contrast and sharpness. Beautiful colors.
Thanks for sharing and congratulations.
Hello Vanni

Hello Anna,

WOW! What a splendid bird!!! I like the fantastic contrast between the iridescent wonderful colors of the birds and the arid color surrounding him. The whole bird looks like a living jewel with gold for eyes. You managed greatly your pov in order to have the sunlight enhancing the iridescence.

Thank you very much Anna for sharing that spectacular picture with us!


Hello Anna,
As always your bird photo's are stunning. I like the blue shine in the feathers and the orange yellow beaded eye. It stands out against the brown background. Good clear detail and pov. Very well done my friend and thanks for sharing.

Hello Anna
This bird have a so fantastic blue color, and the shiny reflection on his plumage is so beautiful in the sunlight, his yellow eye is nice too
Pose and POV are just right
Have a great WE

Hi Anna,

Lovely and awesome capture of this cheeky looking beauty in wonderful pose. It is also novelty for me MF! You've taken it from very nice vantage point with perfect focus, excellent DOF, great clarity and delightful composition.
BTW thanks for all kind messages which i received from you and Loot!
Please forward him my kind and warm regards!
Have a nice week MF!


Hola Anna

Nunca había visto este pajaro de color azul, una buena composición y colorido.

Un saludo Antonio

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2010-05-10 6:47]

Hello Anna,

All metal !!!??? strange color... very good shot!


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-05-10 14:57]

Hi Anna,i'm in delay as usual..ehhee..and isn't easy to find something new to comment your wonderful pic..the metallic blue is enough to create a beautiful spectacle..in the Kruger the surprises are neverdings...thanks for share,have a nice day,LUCIANO

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-05-10 17:54]

Hello Anna,
You have captured the bright iridescent plumage of this species superbly Anna. The fine focus gives us splendid details too, great work.

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2010-05-12 0:04]

Hi Anna,
Eye and wing colors, fantastic ..!
Excellent sharp details and colors.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • mamcg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 333 W: 13 N: 91] (9843)
  • [2010-05-12 21:46]

Hi Anna,

For me it is new creature, as we live where there it is hard to locate such creature and this is well made, the sharpness and colours are beautiful. Also I check your equipment too, that how you get close to this level, charming.
Regards, TFS.


striking bird, TFS Ori

Hallo Anna,
a fantastic capture of the Cape Glossy Starling, outstanding sharpness and marvellous metallic colours, excellent POV and composition with a very beautiful pose of the bird on the ground, a very good visual impression.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2010-05-16 15:25]

Hi Anna , wow this is one very striking bird , and that eye is intense. another fine image for your growing bird collection. I like how well the bird stands out in the image , great color showing of its metallic sheen , the pose of the bird is nice , and you have also manged some good detail as well.


  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2010-05-17 6:16]

Hi Anna!
What a wonderful bird!..its colour is amazing :)
Great focus and perfect details. Fantastic shallow DOF.
ciao! vanda

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-05-17 7:38]

Hello Anna,
Last weeks I saw a lot of Glossy Starlings in Senegal and Gambia. But other species. This is a fantastic photo in very good sharpness, splendid colours and good low POV and DOF. Great contrasting BG.

Hi Anna,

Interesting colors for a bird, looks like it's dipped in a blue dye can, like a toy bird. It has a metallic/plastic look to it. You have captured it well. Thanks. Ali

Hi Anna, very nice picture, excellent sharpness, beautiful colors.

Hello Anna,
Thank you very much for your comments on my pictures.I have been learning and when you all praise my picture or show me my mistake it makes me happy.I am glad that you like those pictures.So,request if watch any mistake,must inform me.
I saw this species in KNP.Even took pictures,but that time I didn't know how to focus on subject even.
You captured it very well.You remind me that time.Very good sharpness with excellent colour.Like its eye too.
Thanks for your great cobtribution here in TN,
Regards and have a nice day tomorrow,

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