Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Blue-throated Brown Sunbird (Cyanomitra cyanolaema)


French: Souimanga à gorge bleue German: Braunrücken-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga gorjiazul

N[ectarinia]. cyanolæmus

Jardine and Fraser

, 1852,

#R, Malabo, Bioko


No apparent close relative; shows characters of both present genus and Chalcomitra. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. magnirostrata (Bates, 1930) – Sierra Leone E to Togo.
  • C. c. octaviae Amadon, 1953 – SW Nigeria, Cameroon and S Central African Republic E to Uganda (Budongo Forest), and S to N Angola and S DRCongo (Katanga); also NW & W Tanzania.
  • C. c. cyanolaema (Jardine & Fraser, 1852) – Bioko.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 11–20 g. Male nominate race has forehead, chin and throat metallic dark steely blue-green, tinged violet; crown, side of head and upperparts brown,... read more


    Song an extended series of descending trills and twitters involving “ptssew” and... read more


    Forest, open areas (e.g. gardens, cultivations) within forest, and gallery forest in savanna;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes insects, spiders (Araneae), also seeds and small fruits (e.g of Alchornea and Discoglypremna). Forages at varying... read more


    Laying in Aug and Nov in Nigeria, Jun and Jul in Cameroon, Dec–Apr in Gabon, Oct in PRCongo, Mar in DRCongo, and Mar–Sept in... read more


    Mostly sedentary; records in gallery forest in savanna lands primarily in wet season, suggesting... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in most of W Africa, but rare in Togo; widespread and common in mainland Equatorial Guinea, and locally common in Angola, DRCongo, Uganda and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Blue-throated Brown Sunbird (Cyanomitra cyanolaema). 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).