Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Mouse-brown Sunbird (Anthreptes gabonicus)


French: Souimanga brun German: Mangrovenektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga pardo
Other common names: Brown Sunbird, Mangrove Sunbird

Nectarinia gabonica


, 1861,



This and following eight African species (A. longuemarei, A. orientalis, A. neglectus, A. aurantius, A. seimundi, A. rectirostris, A. tephrolaemus, A. rubritorques) sometimes placed in genus Hedydipna or in a separate genus Lamprothreptes. Monotypic.


Senegambia E, discontinuously, to Nigeria and W Cameroon, S to Angola (Cabinda, Soyo area#R and mouth of R Kissama).

Descriptive notes

10 cm. Dull sunbird, lacking metallic colours; bill broad at base, only slightly decurved. Male is mouse-brown above, with narrow white line across forehead, and white... read more


Song consists of sequence of twitters, e.g. “tser-tser-tsew-tsi-tsi-tsi-tsi-tsi-tsi-tseuuur... read more


Coconut plantations, mangroves, farmland and gardens in coastal zones; also strays inland along... read more

Food and feeding

Few data. Hunts insects in trees and lianas, often close to water, using behaviour like that of a sylviid warbler. Common visitor to ... read more


Egg-laying recorded in all months in W Africa, Apr and Jun in Gabon and Sept in DRCongo. Territorial. Nest (without hanging “beard... read more


Occurrences beside rivers far inland in wet season suggest seasonal movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Sometimes abundant and usually not uncommon in mangroves; rarer inland. Susceptible to destruction of mangrove habitats.

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Mouse-brown Sunbird (Anthreptes gabonicus). 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 26 August 2019).