Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Handsome Sunbird (Aethopyga bella)


French: Souimanga oreillard German: Philippinennektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga hermoso

Æthopyga bella


, 1877,

Surigao, north Mindanao, Philippines


Formerly considered conspecific with A. shelleyi. Race minuta not well differentiated, and validity has been questioned. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. b. flavipectus Ogilvie-Grant, 1894 – N Luzon, in N Philippines.
  • A. b. minuta Bourns & Worcester, 1894 – S & C Luzon, Polillo Is, Mindoro and Marinduque.
  • A. b. rubrinota McGregor, 1905 – Lubang.
  • A. b. bonita Bourns & Worcester, 1894 – Panay, Masbate, Ticao, Negros and Cebu.
  • A. b. bella Tweeddale, 1877 – Samar, Leyte, Dinagat, Siargao and Mindanao, in E & S Philippines.
  • A. b. arolasi Bourns & Worcester, 1894 – Sulu Archipelago (Jolo and Tawitawi).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 9·1 cm, 3·9–5·3 g; female 8·3 cm, 3·1–4·2 g. Male nominate race has crown to rear of eye metallic green, rest of... read more


    Rapid "sit-sit-sit-sit-tee-tee-tee-tee", last notes at lower pitch; also "tsit-tit-... read more


    Thickets, cultivation, forest and forest edge; sea-level to 2000 m.

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on small insects and their larvae, and nectar. Forages singly and in pairs; joins mixed-species flocks.


    Breeding recorded in Jan, Jun–Jul and Sept. One nest (nominate race) a long bag-shaped pocket with loose dangling "tail" of... read more


    Nothing recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common throughout most of Philippines.

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Handsome Sunbird (Aethopyga bella). 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).