Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Magnificent Sunbird (Aethopyga magnifica)


French: Souimanga magnifique German: Prunknektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga magnífico

Aethopyga magnifica


, 1876,



Until recently considered conspecific with A. siparaja, but genetically and morphologically divergent, although plumage distinctions not so strong as claimed#R. When compared with morphologically closest form A. s. flavostriata, differs in its large size (effect size for bill 6.8, score 3); (in male) black vs dark slate belly (1); (in male) purplish vs deep bluish tail (1) (other races of A. siparaja with bluish tail differ far more in other characters); and (in female) much darker and uniform olive underparts (2). Proposed form marinduquensis (Barrio Canat, Boac, Marinduque), formerly erroneously treated as a race of Leptocoma sperata, is not recognized. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

WC Philippine Is (Marinduque, Tablas, Sibuyan, Panay, Negros, Cebu).

Descriptive notes

Male 13–14 cm, female 12–13 cm; 8–10·4 g. Male has forehead and lores black, forehead with metallic purplish gloss, rest of head dark red, thin black malar stripe glossed... read more


Call a metallic “zit-tit”, repeated. Song a brief trill.


Inhabits second growth, scrub, forest edge, also cultivations; sometimes enters gardens. Sea-level... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes insects and spiders, also nectar. Pierces corolla bases of flowers. Forages alone and in pairs, sometimes in family parties.... read more


Season Feb–Jun (nestlings in May). The bag-shaped nest with roofed entrance at side is made from rootlets, fine grass, palm fibres and dead... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to locally fairly common. Although this species’ population size has not been quantified, it appears not to be in decline and... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Magnificent Sunbird (Aethopyga magnifica). 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 20 August 2019).