Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Beautiful Sunbird (Cinnyris pulchellus)


French: Souimanga à longue queue German: Elfennektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga colilargo sudanés

Certhia pulchella


, 1766,



Sometimes placed in genus Chalcomitra. Hitherto treated as conspecific with C. melanogastrus; see that species (below). Proposed races aeger (described from Aïr, in Niger) and lucidipectus (from Wad Medani, on Blue Nile in EC Sudan) considered synonyms. Monotypic.


Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau E to Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, S to Sierra Leone, C Nigeria, N Cameroon, Central African Republic, South Sudan, extreme NE DRCongo, Uganda and NW Kenya.

Descriptive notes

Male 14–17 cm, 5·6–10·2 g; female 9–11 cm, 5·6–8 g; unsexed 5·3–6·7 g. Male breeding has head, upperparts and upperwing-coverts bright metallic green, uppertail-coverts... read more


Song consists of a warble of rising and falling high-pitched notes, involving “ti-tsu-tswee” and... read more


Dry thorn savannas, riversides and gardens, but usually near water, e.g. semi-permanent rivers and... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar and small flowers (e.g. of Acacia); insects, and spiders (Araneae). Forages singly, occasionally in small groups. Visits... read more


Breeds during rainy seasons; laying recorded in Jun–Oct in Mauritania and Senegal, Jun–Mar in Gambia, Jul in Mali, Jun in Burkina Faso, Apr... read more


Some resident throughout range, except in far N. Complex movement patterns apparently related to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common (even locally abundant) throughout most of range, especially in Eritrea, Ethiopia, NW Kenya, Mauritania, Senegambia and Sudan... read more

Recommended citation

Cheke, R., Mann, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Beautiful Sunbird (Cinnyris pulchellus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 September 2019).