Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Flame-breasted Sunbird (Cinnyris solaris)


French: Souimanga de Timor German: Sonnennektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga de Timor

Nectarinia solaris


, 1825,

Ambon; error = Timor


Described race degener (from Flores) considered inseparable from nominate. Birds on Atauro I (between Wetar and Timor) of uncertain racial identity, provisionally placed in nominate. Moreover, plumage variation clinal, male dullest in W of range (Sumbawa and Flores), grading through C (Lembata and Alor) and becoming brighter in E (Semau and Timor), and most richly coloured on Wetar, where female also brightest. Race exquisitus possibly represents E end of cline, but differs in having heavier bill. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. solaris (Temminck, 1825) – Lesser Sundas (Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores, Solor, Adonara, Lembata, Pantar, Alor, Atauro, Timor, Semau, Roti).
  • C. s. exquisitus E. J. O. Hartert, 1904 – Wetar I.
  • Descriptive notes

    11·0 cm. Male nominate race has metallic blue-green forehead and crown, and from moustachial area and chin to upper breast, central throat purple, forming contrasting stripe... read more


    Song 1 second in duration, consists of 3–4 high-pitched, halting notes, up and down scale,... read more


    Secondary forest, at forest edge, in woodland, scrub, plantations, Eucalyptus alba savanna... read more

    Food and feeding

    No details of diet. Forages singly, in pairs and in small groups. Feeds at flowering Tamarindus trees.


    Laying in Mar–Aug (peak May) on Flores. Nest a rather untidy pendulous bag 14–15 × 6 cm, with entrance hole 5 cm from bottom,... read more


    Nothing known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Northern Nusa Tenggara EBA and in Timor and Wetar EBA. Varies from scarce to abundant depending on island.

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Flame-breasted Sunbird (Cinnyris solaris). 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).