Violet-backed Starling fluffing feathers in the shade
Male Violet-backed Starling (Cinnyricinclus leucogaster) perched in the shade of a ficus tree, initiating its preening session by shaking and fluffing up its feathers. Birds fluff up and shake their feathers to "rezip" feather barbules that have become unhooked in order to realign feathers. In the scientific name, the specific "leucogaster" is derived from ancient Greek and means "white belly". Violet-backed starlings eat mostly fruit and also some insects which they glean from branches or hawk in the air. They forage primarily in trees and, unlike many other starlings, spend little time on the ground. Captured in North Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.