Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Crimson-backed Sunbird (Leptocoma minima)


French: Souimanga menu German: Däumlingsnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga mínimo
Other common names: Small Sunbird

Cinnyris minima


, 1832,

Western Ghats, Deccan, west India




Western Ghats (from N of Mumbai, S to hills of S Kerala), in W India.

Descriptive notes

8 cm; male 4–6 g, female 4–5 g. Very small. Male breeding has crown iridescent green, side of face blackish, upperwing and tail blackish-brown with lilac gloss,... read more


Squeaky song “see-see-whi-see-see-siwee…” lasting 5–10 seconds, frequently repeated; also... read more


Evergreen forest, sholas, plantation shade trees, secondary growth and gardens; 300–2100 m,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, spiders (Araneae) and nectar. Forages singly, in pairs or in small groups. Active and acrobatic; clings upside-down to plants,... read more


Laying recorded in Feb–Mar, May and Dec in Mumbai area, Sept–Apr in Kerala but May–Oct in Nilgiris. Nest a neat, rounded... read more


Local movement; absent from most of Nilgiris Oct–Mar.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Western Ghats EBA. Locally common. Claimed occurrence in Sri Lanka (and reports of breeding in Mar–Apr) in... read more

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Crimson-backed Sunbird (Leptocoma minima). 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).