Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Mouse-coloured Sunbird (Cyanomitra verreauxii)


French: Souimanga murin German: Graunektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga ratonil
Other common names: Grey Sunbird

Cinnyris veroxii

A. Smith

, 1832,

#R, Cafferland = Eastern Cape Province, South Africa


Original spelling corrected due to internal information: “the specimen was given to me by Mr Verreaux”#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. v. fischeri (Reichenow, 1880) – coastal lowlands from E & SE Somalia S to NE South Africa (NE KwaZulu-Natal), extending inland locally to S Malawi.
  • C. v. zanzibarica (Grote, 1932) – Zanzibar, off NE Tanzania.
  • C. v. verreauxii (A. Smith, 1832) – coastal areas of E & S South Africa (E KwaZulu-Natal and E Eastern Cape Province).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; male 8·5–18·8g, female 7–16·6 g. Nominate race is dark brown with metallic blue-green sheen on crown and nape; mantle grey, rest of upperparts... read more


    Song characteristic, consists of repetitions every 2–5 seconds of 1-second bursts of... read more


    Mostly along coasts in forest, woodland, scrub, mangroves and gardens, straying inland into montane... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, spiders (Araneae), spider eggs; also nectar. Nectar taken from aloes (Aloe), Erythrina, Halleria lucida... read more


    Egg-laying in May–Jul, Sept and Nov–Dec in Kenya, Jan, Apr and Dec in Tanzania, and Sept–Feb in South Africa. Displaying... read more


    Some seasonal movements from forest to acacia (Acacia) woodland; occasional irruptions to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare in Somalia; rare in Malawi range except in Lengwe National Park, where common. Scarce in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Mouse-coloured Sunbird (Cyanomitra verreauxii). 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).