Shining Sunbird Cinnyris habessinicus Scientific name definitions

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

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Vocal Array


Africa. Song is a warbling sequence of fast ch ch ch ch ch, preceding a series of attenuated chee-chee-chee notes (2).
Arabia. Song  is a fast-paced, fluty-sounding, and trilled tuu-tuu-tuu-tuu-vita-vita-du-du-du-du that terminates in a (Troglodytes) wren-like trill, and sometimes interspersed by jumbled whispering sounds and whirring notes (1, 3). The subsong is a fast, whispering warble (3).


Africa. Calls include sharp tsp, tsp, tsp notes, similar to those of Pygmy Sunbird (Hedydipna platura) (2) or spik-spik and speek-speek (34).

Arabia. Calls include a distinctive loud winnowing whistle, a hard dzit, a chewit-chewit, and a rapid tje-tje-tje-tje (35).

Geographic Variation

Boesman (8) reported vocal differences between African and Arabian populations.

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