Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea)


French: Souimanga orangé German: Goldbrust-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga pechinaranja

Certhia violacea


, 1766,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa




Western Cape and SW Eastern Cape (E to Port Elizabeth), in SW South Africa.

Descriptive notes

Male 14·5–16·5 cm, 9–11·3g; female 12·5–13·5 cm, 8·6–9·7 g. Male is iridescent green on head to... read more


Song a high-pitched warbling of melodious notes, interrupted at varying intervals by descending “... read more


Fynbos; mountain slopes with heaths (Ericaceae) and proteas (Protea), also gardens, and... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar; also insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera and Orthoptera; also spiders (Araneae).... read more


Egg-laying in all months, with peak May–Aug (breeds in synchrony with flowering of Erica species); two or three broods.... read more


During austral summer, moves up to 8 km, and ascends at least 320 m higher, in search of flowering... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Cape Fynbos EBA. Common to locally uncommon. Habitat loss has presumably caused some declines. Habitat... read more

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Orange-breasted Sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea). 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 6 December 2019).