Family Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)

Least Concern

Western Miombo Sunbird (Cinnyris gertrudis)


French: Souimanga de Pinto German: Gertrudisnektarvogel Spanish: Suimanga del miombo occidental

Cinnyris chalybeus gertrudis


, 1926,

Songea, c. lat. 10°41’ S, lon g. 35°38’ E, south-western Tanzania


Formerly considered conspecific with C. chalybeus, and until recently with C. manoensis. Occurs in parapatry with C. manoensis along Muchinga Escarpment in Zambia, occupying pure miombo, with manoensis found more towards rocky edge habitat with aloes: differs#R in its narrower breastband (1); longer yellow pectoral tufts (1); matt mouse-brown vs metallic violet uppertail-coverts (3); smaller overall size (mean male weight 7.7 g vs 9.8) and shorter bill (mean male 19.68 mm vs 23.49) (allow 2); song ending with long descending trill vs none (at least 2); nest made of lichen vs grass (1); plus parapatric distribution (3). Until recently name listed as pintoi (as in HBW), but this is a junior subjective synonym of gertrudis#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C Angola, S DRCongo, W & C Tanzania, Zambia (W of Luangwa rift) and N Malawi (N of Ntchisi).

Descriptive notes

10·5–12·5 cm; 6·6–8·8 g. Rather similar to previously conspecific C. manoensis. Adult male has uppertail-coverts greyish or narrowly tipped glossy green (without... read more


Song described as a rambling ‘squibble’ similar to many sunbirds (especially other Cinnyris... read more


Miombo woodland, savanna, riverine woodland, gardens and parks; also found in Cryptosepalum... read more

Food and feeding

Diet apparently unrecorded, although presumably similar to that of formerly conspecific C. manoensis. Foraging behaviour... read more


Egg-laying recorded in Sept in Tanzania, Aug–Nov (mainly Sept) in Zambia, and in May–Nov and Jan–Feb, with nestbuilding also recorded in... read more


Resident in some areas. Shifts to seek flowering plants, with some local seasonal movements... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in Malawi and Zimbabwe; locally common in Angola and locally very common in NW Zambia; uncommon in Tanzania. Occurs in several... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Western Miombo Sunbird (Cinnyris gertrudis). 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).