Beautiful Sunbird, Cinnyris pulchella

The Beautiful Sunbird, Cinnyris pulchella (formerly placed in the genus Nectarinia), is a sunbird.

Distribution / Range

The Beautiful Sunbird is a common breeder across sub-Saharan tropical Africa.

Beautiful Sunbird

It is a seasonal migrant within its range.

This species is found in a variety of open habitats with some trees, including savannah and hotel gardens.


Beautiful Sunbirds are tiny, only 10 cm long, although the breeding male’s long tail adds another 5 cm.

They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.

The adult male is mainly glossy green with a yellow and crimson breast band. He has long tail streamers.

The female is greenish-brown above and yellowish below.

Beautiful SunbirdDiet / Feeding

The sunbirds are a group of very small Old World passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young.

Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time.

Breeding / Nesting

One or two eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree.

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Beautiful Sunbird, Cinnyris pulchella