Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris osea)


Taxonomy

French: Souimanga de Palestine German: Jerichonektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga palestino
Taxonomy:

Cinnyris osea

Bonaparte

, 1856,

“Plaines de Jéricho” = Palestine

.

Races differ in size, plumage, degree of iridescence in male plumage, existence of male non-breeding plumage (lacking in decorsei), and voice; research clearly needed. Proposed race butleri (described from Kajo Kaji, in S South Sudan) considered inseparable from decorsei. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. o. osea Bonaparte, 1856 – Palestine Sunbird – Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, NE Egypt, S Syria, Jordan, W Saudi Arabia, Yemen and S Oman.
  • C. o. decorsei Oustalet, 1904 – Central African Sunbird – widely scattered localities at L Chad and in E Cameroon, Central African Republic, W Sudan, S South Sudan, NE DRCongo and NW Uganda.
  • Descriptive notes

    8–10 cm; male average 7·6g and female average 6·8 g (nominate). Male nominate race breeding has purple forehead, metallic blue-green (blue in some lights... read more

    Voice

    Song of race decorsei described as "chwing-chwing-chweing..." or "chwee-... read more

    Habitat

    Savannas, bushy riversides, rocky valleys, gardens and parks, orchards, juniper (Juniperus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, fruits, seeds, also spiders (Araneae) and insects. Forages singly and in pairs; sometimes gregarious outside breeding season, when... read more

    Breeding

    Egg-laying recorded in Apr–May in Lebanon and Jordan, Feb–Sept in Israel, Feb, Mar and May in Arabia, Jun in Egypt and Nov... read more

    Movements

    Nominate race mostly resident, but wanders and makes altitudinal movements, e.g. in Jordan and Oman... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon in much of range; locally common, and in some places abundant, especially in N of range. Very common and widespread in Israel and Palestine... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2018). Palestine Sunbird (Cinnyris osea). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/60048 on 18 November 2018).