- Chalcomitra senegalensis
Length 13-15 cm (5-6 in), mass 12-15 g, males larger than females
Male: Black with iridescent emerald-green crown and chin and scarlet throat and upper breast. Bill, legs and feet black, eyes dark brown.
Female: Upper parts and face dark brown, eyebrow whitish. Chin and throat dark brown, feathers edged light brown. Breast and belly pale yellow, streaked dark brown.
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland
This is one of the seven Sunbirds that have recently been moved into the genus Chalcomitra from the genus Nectarinia.
Chalcomitra senegalensis has 5 subspecies, variation being mostly in the colour of the underparts:
- C. s. senegalensis:
- C. s. acik:
- C. s. proteus:
- C. s. lamperti:
- C. s. gutturalis:
Broadleaved open woodland, moist thornveld, coastal bush, parks and gardens.
Often in groups at nectar sources where males frequently chase conspecifics and other Sunbirds. Also hunts insects and spiders, but usually alone. May hover to feed, but usually perches.
The male defends the the breeding territory. The nest is pear-shaped with a hood over the entrance hole, and suspended from a branch. It is built by the female using dry grass, stems, leaves and/or bark bound by spider web. Usually two eggs are laid and incubated by the female. Chicks and fledglings are fed by both parents for up to eight weeks. Parasitised by Klaas's Cuckoo and, less often, African Emerald Cuckoo and Dideric Cuckoo
Click on photo for larger image
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2016)
- Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Scarlet-chested Sunbird. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 13 April 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Scarlet-chested_Sunbird