Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Socotra Sunbird (Chalcomitra balfouri)


French: Souimanga de Socotra German: Sokotranektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga de Socotora

Cinnyris balfouri

P. L. Sclater and Hartlaub

, 1881,



Differs from congeners in lacking pronounced sexual dichromatism (both sexes have female-type plumage). Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

Male 12·5–14 cm, female 11·5–12 cm; unsexed 8–15 g. Male is dull brown above, with pale streaking on crown, and fewer similar streaks on nape and mantle;... read more


Song loud and varied, a series of short or long bursts of quick jangling notes; also mimics other... read more


All vegetated areas, and more numerous where vegetation is more substantial; sea-level to 1370 m.

Food and feeding

Insects, including small cicadas (Cicadidae), also spiders (Araneae); also small fruits (e.g. of Euphorbia), seeds and presumably... read more


Laying probably in Jan–May; nestlings found in Mar and May, fledglings in Feb, and juveniles early Feb to late Mar. Nest dome-shaped... read more


None recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Socotra EBA. Common. Total population estimated at approximately 11,000 pairs; densities 6–12 birds/ km².... read more

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Socotra Sunbird (Chalcomitra balfouri). 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 26 August 2019).