Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Hunter's Sunbird (Chalcomitra hunteri)


French: Souimanga de Hunter German: Purpurbürzel-Glanzköpfchen Spanish: Suimanga de Hunter

Cinnyris hunteri


, 1889,

Useri River, Kenya–Tanzania border


See C. senegalensis. Race siccata sometimes synonymized. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. h. siccata (Clancey, 1986) – extreme SE South Sudan, SSW Ethiopia (near Mega), NW Kenya (including NW shore of L Turkana), and plateau regions of Somalia.
  • C. h. hunteri (Shelley, 1889) – S & EC Ethiopia, Kenya (except NW) and extreme NE Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 10–14 g. Male nominate race has forehead and crown iridescent green, face, neck and upperparts black, uppertail-coverts and base of rump... read more


    Complex song of rising and falling notes, a whistle and a trill, preceding “chip, chip-choo” and “... read more


    Scrub, open woodland and semi-arid grasslands, to 1500 m.

    Food and feeding

    Insects, also fruit pulp and nectar. Takes fruit pulp from Commiphora species; feeds at flowers of acacias (Acacia), ... read more


    Egg-laying recorded in May and Jul in Somalia, Feb, Jun, Oct and Dec in Kenya and Dec in Tanzania. Nest built by female, ellipsoid and... read more


    No data.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common and widespread throughout Somalia, except in NE and extreme W; fairly common in dry habitats, except grassland, in Kenya. Uncommon in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Hunter's Sunbird (Chalcomitra hunteri). 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).