Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Lovely Sunbird (Aethopyga shelleyi)


French: Souimanga de Palawan German: Goldkehl-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga filipino

Aethopyga shelleyi


, 1876,

Palawan, Philippines


Formerly treated as conspecific with A. bella, but sister relationship not supported in phylogenetic study#R. Monotypic.


Busuanga, Culion, Palawan and Balabac, in W Philippine Is.

Descriptive notes

Male 10·5 cm, female 8·4cm. Male has crown metallic purple and green, side of head, hindneck and upper back dark red, lower back and rump bright yellow,... read more


Seesawing “zuep-ziip” for several seconds.


Forest, forest edge and cultivation, often around flowering and fruiting trees; sea-level to 2000 m. read more

Food and feeding

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


Laying recorded in Feb. No further information.


Nothing recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Occurs in St Paul Subterranean River National Park, on Palawan.

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Lovely Sunbird (Aethopyga shelleyi). 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).