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Blood-breasted Flowerpecker - BirdForum Opus

Photo by mehd halaouate
Java, Indonesia, October 2005
Dicaeum sanguinolentum


8–9·5 cm. 3.3-3.7 inches


  • crown and upperparts dark blue, glossy
  • retrices with narrow white tips
  • throat and belly buff to pink
  • breast brilliant red with thick black stripe from center of lower breast to the belly
  • chest with white tufts
  • sides heavy grey-black smudges
  • eyes blue or brown
  • legs dark
  • beak black


  • upperparts greeny brown
  • uppertail coverts and rump brilliant red
  • underparts and throat mustard or buffy orange with grey green streaks
  • breast side grey with white tufts


  • like a greyer female
  • beak pale


Photo by James Eaton
Gunung Gede, Java, Indonesia, July 2008

Southeast Asia: found in Indonesia, Greater Sundas, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sundas, Bali and Timor.


Differences in vocalisations and plumage suggest more than one species involved. Reference [5] suggests elevating subspecies as follows: sanguinolentum as "Javan Flowerpecker" (D. sanguinolentum), rhodopygiale as "Flores Flowerpecker" (D. rhodopygiale), wilhelminae as "Sumba Flowerpecker" (D. wilhelminae), and hanieli as "Timor Flowerpecker" (D. hanieli).


There are four subspecies [1]:

  • D. s. sanguinolentum: "Javan Flowerpecker". Java and Bali; vagrant to Sumatra.
  • D. s. rhodopygiale: "Flores Flowerpecker". Flores (western Lesser Sundas). [Thin beak, male pinky orange undertail coverts, off white below with dark sides.]
  • D. s. wilhelminae: "Sumba Flowerpecker". Sumba (western Lesser Sundas). [Thick beak, male purple upperparts, white chin, brilliant red from throat and breast, belly and sides are grey. Female has grey green upperparts with off white and grey underparts. Juvenile like female, with dark green dappled grey and white underparts.]
  • D. s. hanieli: "Timor Flowerpecker". Timor (eastern Lesser Sundas) . [Male has buff white throat and chin, red patch small, below white with yellowish sides.]


Moist forests, open woodland, and sparsely wooded agricultural land. Elevation: Java and Bali found between 800–2400 m, Lesser Sundas in lowlands up to 1000 m, higher on Flores and Timor.



The diet consists mainly of small figs and opened Papaya fruits, mistletoe pollen and nectar, non-biting midge larvae and spiders. Forages mainly near mistletoes in canopy, singly or in pairs.


Western Java: Egg laying in January, August and October.
Central Java: A nest with two young was found in March
A small egg shaped nest, about 20 cm or 8 inches long, thought to be made of ferns and grass is suspended from a twig of an Acacia tree 6–7 m or 19-23 feet above the ground. Eggs are dull white.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. BF Member observations
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2015)
  5. Eaton, JA, B van Balen, NW Brickle, FE Rheindt 2021. Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago (Greater Sundas and Wallacea), Second Edition. Lynx Editions. ISBN978-84-16728-44-2

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