Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Superb Sunbird (Cinnyris superbus)


French: Souimanga superbe German: Prachtnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga soberbio

Certhia superba


, 1809,

#R, Malembo, Cabinda, Angola


Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. s. ashantiensis Bannerman, 1922 – Sierra Leone and S Mali E to Togo.
  • C. s. nigeriae (Rand & Traylor, 1959) – S Benin and S Nigeria.
  • C. s. superbus (Shaw, 1809) – S Cameroon, Central African Republic and DRCongo (except NE) S to W Angola.
  • C. s. buvuma van Someren, 1932 – NE DRCongo, Uganda, W Kenya and extreme NW Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; male 13·8–14·7 g (ashantiensis), 17–24 g (buvuma and nominate), female 13·2 g (ashantiensis), 16... read more


    Song consists of sequences of “weet-choo weet-choo witchoo witch”, “weetch-doo, weetch-doo” and... read more


    Mature forest and secondary forest, gallery forest, forest edge, coffee plantations, savanna,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Nectar, seeds, including those of Xylopia aethiopica, fruits, also insects, spiders (Araneae) and snails. Forages generally singly... read more


    Egg-laying recorded in Feb and Nov in Ghana, Jul in Nigeria, Feb, Jul and Oct–Nov in Cameroon, Oct–Mar in Gabon, Apr in PRCongo... read more


    No data.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in Liberia and Gabon; locally common in Angola; not uncommon in Ghana, Togo and Nigeria, and in Uganda. Occurs in several protected areas, e.g... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2020). Superb Sunbird (Cinnyris superbus). 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 28 February 2020).