Long-tailed Glossy starling

The Long-tailed Glossy starling (Lamprotornis caudatus) is a member of the starling family of birds. You will find them all over The Gambia and of course at Footsteps too.

The photo (below left) was taken at our bird hide and the natural feature of water there is really delivering the goods with regard photos. All of the photos in this post were taken by Rob Garner on his last visit.

Taking a bath by our bird hide


Supple-tailed Glossy StarlingsLong-tailed Purple Starlings or Northern Long-tailed Glossy Starlings.

They definitely have an impressive flowing tail 😀

They will come within just a few feet

Where is the Long-tailed Glossy starling found?

As mentioned earlier, this fairly large bird is a daily visitor at Footsteps. 

Seen almost everywhere and is found in open woodland, forest, orchard-bush, thickets, bushes and scrub. Source Wikipedia

In Gambia for example this delightful bird is widespread and also common in forest interiors.

What does it look like?

The adults measure about 54 cm in length, that’s approximately 20cm of bird and 34 cm of a tail.

As we can see from Rob’s lovely photos its plumage on top is a metallic green while its plumage below is predominantly violet. The tail is glossy purple hence the name and their faces are black with yellow eyes.

While males and females look very much the same, their young are much duller and don’t get their colour for some months.

gambian bird

What does it feed on?

They mostly eat fruits but also are partial to the odd small insect or two. 

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

Their tail being so beautiful not only serves aesthetic purposes, but also it serves to gives them supreme balance as they forage around for food.

How does it sound?

They have a harsh grating sound to their call which is very noisy, especially in large groups.

Scroll to Top