Shining Sunbird Cinnyris habessinicus Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan
Version: 2.0 — Published October 8, 2021


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Agonistic Behavior

Territorial Behavior

Males will eject Palestine Sunbirds (Cinnyris osea), Blackstarts (Oenanthe melanura), and Laughing Doves (Streptopelia senegalensis) from their territory, as well as rival conspecifics (28).

Sexual Behavior

Courtship, Copulation, and Pair Bond

In Africa, displaying males have been observed to stretch up and shuffle along a perch towards the female, then swing the body from side to side before suddenly fluffing-out his plumage, thereby exposing the pectoral tufts; may take off vertically and return to the perch to sing (1, 2). Observations in Arabia reveal that the male can engage in a jerky song flight, with depressed tail designed to expose the rump, and will sometimes attempt to court two females simultaneously, with much chasing observed (28).

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M. (2021). Shining Sunbird (Cinnyris habessinicus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.shisun3.02