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Scarlet chested sunbird.jpg
Chalcomitra senegalensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Nectariniidae
Genus: Chalcomitra

see text

Chalcomitra is a genus of African sunbirds. Its members are sometimes included in Nectarinia.

The sunbirds are a group of very small Old World passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time.

The genus Chalcomitra was introduced by the German naturalist Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853.[1] The type species was subsequently designated as the amethyst sunbird.[2] The name Chalcomitra is from the Ancient Greek khalkomitros "wearing a bronze head-band", from khalkos "bronze" and mitra "diadem".[3]

Its members are:[4]

There is also an essentially unknown and undescribed population of such sunbirds around Wadi Tôha in Day Forest National Park, Djibouti, discovered in 1985. It is quite distinct and appears to represent a new species:


  1. ^ Reichenbach, Ludwig (1853). Handbuch der Speciellen Ornithologie (in German). Dresden and Leipzig: Expedition der Vollständigsten Naturgeschichte. p. 277.
  2. ^ Dickinson, E.C.; Christidis, L., eds. (2014). The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines (4th ed.). Eastbourne, UK: Aves Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-9568611-2-2.
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E., eds. "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Dippers, leafbirds, flowerpeckers, sunbirds". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  • Barlow, Wacher and Disley, Birds of The Gambia ISBN 1-873403-32-1
  • Sinclair, Ian; Hockey, Phil; Tarboton, Warwick (2002). SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. Struik. ISBN 1-86872-721-1.