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Aves bird of the week - Amethyst Sunbird - Nectarinia amethystine


Amethyst Sunbird


The Amethyst Sunbird - Nectarinia amethystine - is a species of bird in the Nectariniidae family. It mainly occurs in Africa south of the equator in the African bushveld - in light and densely wooded areas.


The fore-crown and throat of the male is metallic green, the carpal patch and rump are iridescent purple. The overall plumage is black to brownish black. Eyes are brown, the bill and legs are black. The female upper parts are brown, the eyebrow off-white, and underparts off-white, streaked brown. Immatures are similar to the adult female, but with an orange to brown gape.


The most frequent call is a high-pitched chak-chak-chak or chyek, chyek, chyek, chyek callnotes. The song is a sustained series of high-pitched twittering chattering notes, reminiscent of a canary.


It’s food consists of nectar supplemented with insects. It forages for nectar wherever nectar is available. It often hawks flying insects from the trees or bushes.


The nest is built by the female. It is a oval-shaped structure built of lichen, grass, stalks and bark cemented with spider web. Eggs are laid year round, peaking from October to February in South Africa. One to three eggs are laid, which are incubated solely by the female for between 13 to 18 days. The chicks are fed mainly by the female, leaving the nest after about 14 to 18 days, becoming independent after at least 1 week.

Conservation Status – Least concern

This species has an extremely large range and the population trend appears to be stable. They are not threatened, in fact its range has increased recently due to the spread of wooded gardens.


Ask Aves Birding Tours to create a custom tour for you to see these beautiful Sunbirds or join one of the following Aves Birding Tours

Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.


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