Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Metallic-winged Sunbird (Aethopyga pulcherrima)


French: Souimanga montagnard German: Glanzflügel-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga submontano

Aethopyga pulcherrima


, 1876,

Basilan, Philippines


Split of all three races as independent species suggested by molecular evidence#R, but morphologically the taxa are fairly similar and some characters (e.g. blue vs green forehead#R, or longer bill and blue-green vs green uppertail in jefferyi compared with nominate#R) not supported by limited material in NHMUK, while available recordings do not suggest vocal differences#R; fuller documentation required. Proposed race dubia (described from Dinagat) seems insufficiently distinct from nominate to be tenable. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. p. jefferyi (Ogilvie-Grant, 1894) – Luzon Sunbird – N & C Luzon, in N Philippines.
  • A. p. pulcherrima Sharpe, 1876 – Mindanao Sunbird – Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Dinagat, Siargao, Mindanao and Basilan.
  • A. p. decorosa (McGregor, 1907) – Bohol Sunbird – Bohol.
  • Descriptive notes

    9·6 cm; unsexed 4·4–7·5 g. Male nominate race has forehead and spot behind eye metallic purplish-green or steel-blue, crown to back olive-green, rump bright yellow,... read more


    Song slow, consisting of well-spaced notes followed by long high-pitched trill, followed by a... read more


    Forest, forest edge, secondary growth and plantain (Musa) plantations. Usually submontane... read more

    Food and feeding

    No data on diet. Forages singly and in mixed flocks.


    Laying recorded in Apr–Jul, and birds with active gonads in Mar–May. Nest attached to climbing fern 2·4 m above ground. Clutch... read more


    Nothing recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common throughout range.

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Metallic-winged Sunbird (Aethopyga pulcherrima). 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).