Shining Sunbird Cinnyris habessinicus Scientific name definitions

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


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The species inhabits dry thornbush and dry riverbeds with flowering plants, cultivation, gardens, rocky hillsides and montane forest, and almost any type of open woodland in the Horn of Africa (1, 2); from sea level to 1,975 m (Somalia) (22) and 1,980 m (Ethiopia) (23), but always 1,000 m in Kenya (24, 25, 26). In the last-named country, the species’ distribution is largely (84%) confined to the arid-semiarid zone, with 63% of its range receiving less than 500 mm of rainfall per annum (25). In Arabia, it is found in relatively luxuriant vegetation in steep-sided wadis or on hillsides, but also occurs in dry savanna scrub, and in parks and gardens, but is entirely absent from open-desert vegetation (27, 28, 29). On the Arabian Peninsula, Shining Sunbird is recorded at ca. 100–2,300 m, but mostly at lower and middle elevations (28, 29).

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