Beautiful Sunbird ♂

Cinnyris pulchella

Beautiful Sunbird, Cinnyris pulchella, photo © by Michael Plagens.

This adult male was fly catching beneath a canopy of acacia trees. Magadi Road near Oltepesi, Kenya. Dec. 2014.

Given the array of color presented by the male's plumage the name seems appropriate: a pair of yellow bands on either side of a red chest, green on head and back, blue on the lower back and black on the belly and tail. The females are plumaged instead to be inconspicuous and safer from predators: yellowish chest and belly with gray-brown back. Beautiful sunbirds take flower nectar and insects as food.

Nectariniidae -- Sunbird Family


  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Michael J. Plagens, page created 9 Sept. 2015