Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Forest Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris fuelleborni)


French: Souimanga de Fülleborn German: Füllebornnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga de Fülleborn

Cinnyris fülleborni


, 1899,

Kalinga, Iringa, Tanzania


Until recently considered conspecific with C. mediocris and C. usambaricus, but molecular evidence invoked to produce split#R; differs from latter in characters given under that species. Differs from former in its song with higher number of different notes (2), and longer notes (excluding introductory notes) (2) which reach lower frequencies (ns[2])#R; broader red breastband (1); considerably darker belly (2); darker blue uppertail-coverts (2); female without paler yellowish mid-belly (ns[1]). Forms very narrow hybrid zone with C. moreaui, with further intergradation prevented by divergent songs#R. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. f. fuelleborni Reichenow, 1899 – C & S Tanzania, NE Zambia (Mafinga Mts) and N Malawi (Karonga district).
  • C. f. bensoni J. G. Williams, 1953 – S Malawi and N Mozambique.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 6·9–9·8 g. Adult male nominate has head and neck, upperparts, including lesser and median wing-coverts, and chin to breast iridescent golden-green, tinged blue near... read more


    Poorly known and little-studied. Differs from C. mediocris in its song with higher number... read more


    Montane forest and habitats akin to those used by C. mediocris, especially in canopy and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar; also insects, including flies (Diptera), Hymenoptera and Neuroptera, also spiders (Araneae) and small molluscs. Nectar taken from... read more


    Egg-laying recorded in Jun, Aug and Oct–Jan in Tanzania, and further S during Apr–Oct in Malawi and Zambia (especially Jun–Aug in first-... read more


    Generally considered to be resident (25 of 88 territorial birds ringed on Nyika Plateau, N Malawi,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Numerous within limited range in NE Zambia, in Mafinga Mts, Makutu and Nyika Plateau, and also very common in montane rainforest in... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Forest Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris fuelleborni). 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).