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Black-throated Sunbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo © Ken Doy
Fraser's Hill, Malaysia, March 2019
Aethopyga saturata


14–15 cm (5½-6 in)

  • Metallic-purple head and nape
  • Elongated central tail feathers

Female: is plain olive


Asia: China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Eastern and Western Himalayas, Bangladesh, Bhutan
Southeast Asia: Indochina, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Malay Peninsula


Ssp. saturata : Male in full breeding plumage
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Sat Tal Forest-Alt. 5500 ft, Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, April-2017


There are 10 subspecies[1]:

  • A. s. saturata: Himalayas (Garhwal to Bhutan and south-eastern Tibet)
  • A. s. assamensis: Bangladesh to Assam, northern Burma and south-western China (western Yunnan)
  • A. s. galenae: Mountains of north-western Thailand
  • A. s. petersi: Eastern Burma to northern Thailand, Laos, northern Vietnam and south-eastern Yunnan
  • A. s. sanguinipectus: Hills of south-eastern Burma (Karenni and northern Tenasserim)
  • A. s. anomala: Hills of southern peninsula Thailand (Phatthalung and Trang)
  • A. s. wrayi: Mountains of Malay Peninsula (south of Trang)
  • A. s. ochra: Southern Laos (Bolavens Plateau) and central Vietnam (Dakto)
  • A. s. cambodiana: Mountains of south-western Cambodia
  • A. s. johnsi: Langbian Plateau (southern Vietnam)


Lower montane closed rainforests, from 600 to 1800 meters. Urban gardens.


Photo © by wondersf2010
Fraser's Hill, Malaysia, November 2009


Feeds on flowers


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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