Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)


Rufous-winged Sunbird (Cinnyris rufipennis)


French: Souimanga à ailes rousses German: Rotflügel-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga alirrojo

Nectarinia rufipennis


, 1983,

Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania




E escarpment of Udzungwa Mts, in E Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

12 cm; male 10 g, female 8·7 g. Male breeding has crown, face, nape, back and upperwing-coverts violet with turquoise reflections, uppertail black with violet gloss; upper... read more


Male song a high-pitched trilling, accompanied by high-pitched chirping by female. Varied calls... read more


Moist montane forest with lichens, mosses and epiphytes, venturing out into glades within 20 m of... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar; probably also insects, as leaf-gleaning observed. Forages singly and in pairs; joins mixed-species flocks. Feeds 0·5–30 m... read more


Juvenile being fed by female in Jan, and other breeding activity observed in Feb. Nest made of grass, rootlets and cobwebs, suspended at 5... read more


Probably undertakes altitudinal movements in synchrony with availability of flowers and insects,... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA. Locally common. Has small range covering c. 3360 km² and decreasing population estimated... read more

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Rufous-winged Sunbird (Cinnyris rufipennis). 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).