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Splendid sunbird (Cinnyris coccinigastrus) male.jpg
Male Splendid sunbird
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Nectariniidae
Genus: Cinnyris
Cuvier, 1816

See text

Cinnyris is a genus of sunbirds. Its members are sometimes included in Nectarinia. They are generally known as double-collared sunbirds because the fringe of their bib usually includes a band of contrastingly coloured feathers.[1]

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.

The genus was introduced by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1816.[2] The type species was subsequently designated as the splendid sunbird.[3] The name Cinnyris is from the Ancient Greek kinnuris, an unknown small bird mentioned by Hesychius of Alexandria.[4]

It is suspected that the genus is polyphyletic and the positions of many are unresolved:[5][6]

The genus contains 56 species:[7]


  1. ^ Macdonald, J. D. (1959). "Old and New Lines in Taxonomy". Ibis. 101 (3-4): 330–334. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919x.1959.tb02389.x. ISSN 1474-919X. 
  2. ^ Cuvier, Georges (1816). Le Règne animal distribué d'après son organisation : pour servir de base a l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction a l'anatomie comparée (in French). Volume 1. Paris: Déterville. pp. 388–389. 
  3. ^ 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. 273. ISBN 978-0-9568611-2-2. 
  4. ^ 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 8 May 2018. 
  5. ^ Warren, Ben H; Bermingham, Eldredge; Bowie, Rauri C.K; Prys-Jones, Robert P; Thébaud, Christophe (2003). "Molecular phylogeography reveals island colonization history and diversification of western Indian Ocean sunbirds (Nectarinia: Nectariniidae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 29 (1): 67–85. doi:10.1016/s1055-7903(03)00063-0. 
  6. ^ Bowie, Rauri C. K.; Fjeldså, Jon; Hackett, Shannon J.; Crowe, Timothy M.; Fleischer, R. C. (2004). "Systematics and biogeography of double-collared sunbirds from the eastern arc mountains, tanzania". The Auk. 121 (3): 660–681. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2004)121[0660:sabods];2. 
  7. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Dippers, leafbirds, flowerpeckers, sunbirds". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 

Other sources[edit]