Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Montane Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris ludovicensis)


French: Souimanga d’Angola German: Bergnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga angoleño
Other common names: Ludwig's Double-collared Sunbird

Nectarinea [sic] Ludovicensis


, 1868,

Biballa, Namibe, Angola


Sometimes treated as conspecific with C. stuhlmanni and/or C. prigoginei; has been considered conspecific also with C. afer, and is closely related to C. reichenowi. Races geographically isolated from each other; possibly represent separate species. Newly described taxon skye#R apparently sister to geographically close race whytei, from which it differs in several plumage characters, longer tarsus, and ecology (restricted to forest–grassland ecotone); these forms may represent two full species, but further study, including of vocalizations, required. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. l. ludovicensis (Bocage, 1868) – Angola Double-collared Sunbird – highlands of W Angola.
  • C. l. whytei Benson, 1948 – Malawi Double-collared Sunbird – N Malawi (Nyika Plateau) and adjacent parts of Zambia.
  • C. l. skye Bowie et al., 2016 – Rubeho Double-collared Sunbird – Rubeho and Udzungwa Highlands, in EC Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 7–11 g. Male nominate race has head, upperparts and chin to breast iridescent green with gold reflections, uppertail-coverts metallic blue with violet... read more


    Song (race whytei) consists of bursts of high notes, “ti,ti, titi pitsy-pitsy, chu-chu-chu... read more


    Montane forest, forest edge and grassland.

    Food and feeding

    Nectar and insects. Forages singly and in pairs. Visits variety of flowers, including aloes (Aloe), mistletoes (... read more


    Egg-laying in Feb–Aug in Malawi and birds with enlarged gonads Oct–Dec in Angola; two or three broods per season. Nest-building... read more


    Apparently resident on Nyika Plateau.

    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Restrictedrange species: present in Western Angola EBA. Locally common in Angola and Malawi.

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2020). Montane Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris ludovicensis). 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 28 March 2020).