Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Regal Sunbird (Cinnyris regius)


French: Souimanga royal German: Königsnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga real

Cinnyris regia

[sic] Reichenow

, 1893,

Central Africa = Rwenzori, DRCongo


Proposed race kivuensis (from Kivu Volcanoes, in DRCongo) considered inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. regius Reichenow, 1893 – E DRCongo, SW Uganda, W Rwanda and W Burundi.
  • C. r. anderseni J. G. Williams, 1950 – W Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 5–8 g. Male nominate race is iridescent emerald-green from head to rump, including scapulars and median and lesser upperwing-coverts, and from chin to... read more


    Song consists of repetitions of rapid twitter of rising and falling notes, followed by “tsi... read more


    Montane forest, clearings, bamboo and scrub, at 1500–3100 m.

    Food and feeding

    Insects and nectar. Forages singly and in pairs. Seeks food from plants such as mistletoes (Loranthaceae), Englerina woodfordioides... read more


    Egg-laying Apr–May in DRCongo and Apr–Jun and Oct in Uganda. Oval nest made of fibres and moss, lined with plant down and... read more


    No data.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Albertine Rift Mountains EBA. Common or locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Regal Sunbird (Cinnyris regius). 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).