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Crimson Sunbird - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Yellow-backed Sunbird; Goulpourah Sunbird; Eastern Crimson Sunbird

Photo © by mehdhalaouate
Singapore, July 2004
Aethopyga siparaja


Photo © by robby thai
Tap Lan NP, Thailand, October 2014

Crimson Sunbirds are tiny, only 11 cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.

The adult male has a crimson breast and maroon back. The rump is yellow and the belly is olive.
The female has an olive-green back, yellowish breast and white tips to the outer tail feathers.


Juvenile Male
Photo © by jweeyh
Singapore, October 2016

Found from India east over the Himalayas, southwest China, Indochina, Malaysia to Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi (Indonesia).


Juvenile female
Photo © by arian001
Mandai Orchard Garden, Singapore
August 2005

This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 14 subspecies.

Vigors's Sunbird and Magnificent Sunbird were formerly included in this species.


Photo © by jweeyh
A nature park, Singapore, 16 September 2021
  • A. s. seheriae: Nepal to Assam, Bangladesh, Burma, south-western China and north-western Thailand
  • A. s. labecula: Eastern Himalayas (Bhutan to Arundal Pradesh, Assam and Bangladesh)
  • A. s. owstoni: Southern China (Naochow Island off Luichow Peninsula)
  • A. s. tonkinensis: Southern China (south-eastern Yunnan) and north-eastern Vietnam
  • A. s. mangini: South-eastern Thailand to central and southern Indochina
  • A. s. insularis: Phu Quoc Island (off extreme southern Cambodia)
  • A. s. cara: Southern Burma, Thailand and Mergui Archipelago
  • A. s. trangensis: Peninsula Thailand, northern Malay Peninsula and adjacent Burma
  • A. s. siparaja: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and adjacent offshore islands
  • A. s. nicobarica: Nicobar Islands
  • A. s. heliogona: Java
  • A. s. natunae: North Natuna Islands
  • A. s. flavostriata: Northern Sulawesi
  • A. s. beccarii: Central, south-eastern and southern Sulawesi; Butung, Muna and Kabaena islands


Found in forest, scrub and gardens below 1,800.



Feeds on nectar, insects and spiders.


Two eggs or three eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. In India it's parasitised by the Asian Emerald Cuckoo.


Like all sunbirds this species has a fast and direct flight with their short wings. They can hover like hummingbirds, but usually perch to feed most of the time.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

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