Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Tsavo Sunbird (Cinnyris tsavoensis)


French: Souimanga du Tsavo German: Tsavonektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga del Tsavo
Other common names: Tsavo Purple-banded Sunbird

Cinnyris bifasciatus tsavoensis

van Someren

, 1922,

Tsavo, Kenya


In the past sometimes treated as a subspecies of C. bifasciatus. Monotypic.


E Kenya and NE Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

9–11 cm; 6–7·6 g. Male has head to throat and upperparts, including median and lesser wing-coverts, iridescent green, rump and uppertail-coverts bluer; very dark... read more


Song consists of rapid sequence of “tsusitiseesee, chuchiti-tsi-tsi-tsi-tsi-sitisee-see-see-see-... read more


Dry savanna with acacia (Acacia) or Commiphora, and riverine woodland.

Food and feeding

Nectar and insects. Forages singly and in pairs. Visits flowers of Delonix elata. Gleans items from small branches; also catches... read more


Egg-laying in Oct in Kenya. Compact ellipsoid nest made of strips of wood, grasses, bark, dried acacia buds and twigs, held together with... read more


No data.

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Generally not uncommon. Fairly common in Tsavo ­National Park, in Kenya. Possibly present also in S Sudan, S Ethiopia and S Somalia, but whether individuals... read more

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Tsavo Sunbird (Cinnyris tsavoensis). 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 20 August 2019).