Shining Sunbird Cinnyris habessinicus Scientific name definitions

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

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Photos from this Account

Breeding male (Shining)
Female (Shining)
Breeding male (Arabian)
Female (Arabian)
Nonbreeding male (Shining)
Breeding male (Shining)
Breeding male (Arabian)
Immature Arabian male, dorsal view.

Resembles female, but has green plumage showing on the throat.

Immature Arabian male, frontal view.

Red breast-band beginning to show.

Immature African male.

Red chest-band and other signs of adult plumage visible.

Adult male, frontal view.

Broad scarlet band bordered by thin blue-green band above and dark blue band below. Presence of this metallic fringe distinguishes nominate males from those of the turkanae subspecies.

Adult male, lateral view.

Decurved bill. Glossy purple forehead and crown visible. Lesser and median wing coverts are metallic while most of the rest of the wing is black.

Adult female, frontal view.

Pale brown-grey underparts with slight mottling on the throat and breast. Nominate females are paler than those of Arabian populations.

Perched on flowering tree in Somalia.
Arabian male feeding on fruit.
African male feeding on nectar from Calotropis procera.

Macaulay Library Photos for Shining Sunbird

Top-rated photos submitted to the Macaulay Library via eBird. Note: Our content editors have not confirmed the species identification for these photos.

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