Even so, compared to seed or fruit eating birds few insectivores were bred in large numbers as they tend to be more demanding in their requirements for both feeding and housing. Most insectivorous passerines are highly territorial when nesting, with both partners needing to defend a territory capable of supporting sufficient insects of the right type to raise a family, and outside the breeding season many are highly aggressive among their own kind , even erstwhile mates (think of European Robins for example, which regularly kill each other even in the wild).
|Adults with juvenile (centre)|
In the wild, Superb Starlings are ranked as Least Concern by the IUCN. Adaptable birds, they are as at home around people and farms as European Starlings are, and as they are not crop pests there is nor reason for them to be persecuted. In the wild they feed on fruit and insects, especially when rearing their chicks, which are usually raised in a nest built free standing in a thorn bush. In captivity, they prefer nest boxes with a large entrance hole. The boxes need to be quite large, as the birds are around 18cm long and build a bulky nest. The clutch can be up to four, but two or three is more usual. As with many tropical birds, juveniles from a previous nest may help raising their younger brothers and sisters, but in captivity unless the aviary is quite large it is usual to remove youngsters once the reach independence to avoid possible conflicts if there is insufficient space to get out of the way of each other.
|Wild L.superbus in Acacia|
Next week - one of the rarest birds in the world, the Bali Mynah (images from wikipedia)