Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Loten's Sunbird (Cinnyris lotenius)


French: Souimanga de Loten German: Lotennektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga de Loten
Other common names: Long-billed Sunbird

Certhia lotenia


, 1766,

Sri Lanka


Geographical variation minimal, restricted to measurements. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. hindustanicus Whistler, 1944 – S India S from N Maharashtra and C Andhra Pradesh.
  • C. l. lotenius (Linnaeus, 1766) – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; male 8–11 g, female 7–8 g. Bill long, heavy and deeply arched. Male has most of upperparts, throat and lesser and median upperwing-coverts very dark,... read more


    Song in India a quickly repeated “cheewit-cheewit-cheewit”, 2–6 times, or short musical... read more


    Deciduous woodland, open country with trees, cultivation and gardens, particularly around flowering... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, spiders (Araneae) and nectar. Forages singly and in pairs, at various levels. Gleans items; hovers. Nectar-robs flowers by... read more


    Nests in India in all months, chiefly Mar–May (but Jan–May in Kerala); in Sri Lanka, Feb–May in dry, low country and Aug... read more


    Possible local movements in Nilgiri Hills, in S India.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally fairly common to locally common. Range in E possibly extends N to Orissa, where reported from coastal area. Occurs in several protected... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Loten's Sunbird (Cinnyris lotenius). 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).