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Copper Sunbird - BirdForum Opus

Breeding plumage
Photo © by volker sthamer
Fort Portal, Uganda, July 2018
Cinnyris cupreus

Nectarinia cuprea


Photo © by whiteheadedvulture
Accra, Ghana, June 2016

12–13 cm (4¾-5 in)

  • copper coloured head, nape and breast
  • Dark blue forehead and chin
  • Black wings


Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, DRC and Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia and Zimbabwe


This is one of the many Sunbirds that have recently been moved to the genus Cinnyris from the genus Nectarinia.


This male is not yet in full breeding plumage
Photo © by megan perkins
Kisumu, Kenya, December 2006

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • C. c. cupreus:
  • C. c. chalceus:


Mainly savannas, also wooded savannah-scrub, degraded forest, woodland, swamps, mangroves, coastal thickets and gardens.



Their main diet consists of nectar, fruit and insects (sometimes hawked aerially); also spiders.


  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. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2018)

Recommended Citation

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