Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Plain Sunbird (Anthreptes simplex)


French: Souimanga modeste German: Schlichtnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga sencillo

Nectarinia simplex

S. Müller

, 1843,

Sumatra and Borneo


Birds from Borneo, having different colour gloss on forehead of male, described as race simplicior, possibly worthy of recognition. Proposed races xanthochlora (from Tenasserim, in S Myanmar) and euthapsinus (Bunguran, in Natuna Is) considered indistinguishable from those elsewhere in range. Treated as monotypic.


Extreme S Myanmar (S Tenasserim), SW & S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (including Nias I), N Natuna Is and Borneo.

Descriptive notes

12 cm; male 7–10·7 g, female 7·1–11·8 g. Male has metallic blue or green forehead, and dull green-olive crown to hindneck and upperparts; side of head and throat... read more


Metallic chips and trills; high-pitched “seep”.


Various forest types, including peatswamp, mangroves, at forest edge, and in plantations, scrub,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including caterpillars; also nectar, fruits and seeds. Nectar includes that of durian trees (Durio). Gleans leaves for... read more


Laying in Mar in Myanmar, Mar, Apr and Jul in Malay Peninsula, and May–Jun in Sumatra (Krui); fledglings in early Apr and birds with... read more


None recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Very rare in Myanmar; uncommon in Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia; locally common in Sumatra and Borneo. Occurs in Taman Negara National Park, in... read more

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2020). Plain Sunbird (Anthreptes simplex). 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 27 February 2020).