Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Violet-breasted Sunbird (Cinnyris chalcomelas)


French: Souimanga à poitrine violette German: Veilchenbrust-Nektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga pechivioleta

Cinnyris chalcomelas


, 1905,

Kismaayo, southern Somalia


In the past, often considered conspecific with C. pembae. Monotypic.


S Somalia and SE Kenya.

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 7–9·5 g. Male breeding has head and upperparts, including median and lesser wing-coverts, iridescent emerald-green, uppertail black with slight... read more


Trilling song as “chrrrrrrrrsssswwwizzzzlllle” or slower sequence of notes, ending with... read more


Coastal thornbush.

Food and feeding

Few data. Diet presumably includes nectar and insects. Forages singly and in pairs, at times in small groups; one group of 100 individuals... read more


Nestlings in Dec and nest-building observed in Apr, Jul and Oct in Somalia. Female alone builds nest. No other information.


No data.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common in Somalia; rather uncommon in Kenya.

Recommended citation

Cheke, R. & Mann, C. (2019). Violet-breasted Sunbird (Cinnyris chalcomelas). 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 23 August 2019).