Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Golden-winged Sunbird (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi)


French: Souimanga à ailes dorées German: Goldschwingen-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga alidorado

Drepanorhynchus reichenowi

G. A. Fischer

, 1884,

Lake Naivasha, Kenya


Birds from Mt Elgon, on Kenya–Uganda border, described as race alinderi, but considered inseparable from nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. r. lathburyi (J. G. Williams, 1956) – N Kenya (Mt Kulal to Mt Uraguess).
  • D. r. reichenowi G. A. Fischer, 1884 – W & S Uganda E to W & C Kenya, and N Tanzania.
  • D. r. shellyae (Prigogine, 1952) – E DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 16–24 cm, 12·8–17·5g; females 14–15 cm, 11–15·9 g. Distinctive, rather large sunbird with markedly decurved bill, large... read more


    Chattering song includes bursts of twitters mixed with high "chi-chi-chi" notes. Calls... read more


    High-lying areas with grassland, montane forest and bamboo clearings, also gardens and agricultural... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), Hymenoptera and flies (Diptera), and nectar. Forages singly, in pairs and in groups, sometimes in... read more


    Egg-laying recorded in May in DRCongo, Jan and Oct in Kenya and Feb and Apr in Tanzania. Globular nest, some with porch and others without... read more


    Seasonal altitudinal movements of up to 1000 m or more in response to flowering regimes; one female... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common throughout range.

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Golden-winged Sunbird (Drepanorhynchus reichenowi). 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).