Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Mariqua Sunbird (Cinnyris mariquensis)


French: Souimanga du Marico German: Bindennektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga del Marico
Other common names: Marico Sunbird

Cinnyris mariquensis

A. Smith

, 1836,

north of Kurrichaine [= Marico district], North West Province, South Africa


Proposed races ovamboensis (described from Ovamboland, in NC Namibia) and lucens (Pongola Town, in N KwaZulu-Natal, NE South Africa) both synonymized with nominate, and hawkeri (Jifa Medir, in Somalia) with osiris. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. osiris (Finsch, 1870) – locally in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, SE South Sudan (Didinga Mts), N Uganda and N Kenya.
  • C. m. suahelicus Reichenow, 1891 – locally in C & S Uganda, extreme E DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, C & S Kenya, Tanzania and NE Zambia.
  • C. m. mariquensis A. Smith, 1836 – S Angola and Namibia E to SW Zambia, Botswana, C & S Zimbabwe, N & NE South Africa, Swaziland and S Mozambique.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–14 cm; male 9·1–14·2g, female 7–12·3 g. Male nominate race is metallic green with golden reflections on head to rump, including... read more


    Complex song may last for a few minutes, involves jumble of “chur-chur”, “chip-... read more


    Inhabits dry acacia (Acacia) savanna, edges of riverine forest and swamp-fringing forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on nectar; also insects, including flies (Diptera), Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera and termites (Isoptera), as well as spiders (Araneae).... read more


    Egg-laying recorded in Mar in Somalia, May in Ethiopia, Feb, Jun, Aug–Sept and Nov in Uganda, all months except Aug and Oct in... read more


    Apparently nomadic in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Uganda. In Uganda presence at Kampala erratic,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common in most of range, but less common in S Tanzania. Occurs in several protected areas, among which are Awash National Park, in Ethiopia... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Mariqua Sunbird (Cinnyris mariquensis). 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).