Western Violet-backed Sunbird | Anthreptes longuemarei

Western Violetbacked Sunbird Information

The Western Violet-backed Sunbird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Nectariniidae bird family group which includes birds such as Sunbirds.

The description for the Western Violet-backed Sunbird (Latin name Anthreptes longuemarei) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anthreptes longuemarei can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 795 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 975. You will find a picture of the Western Violet-backed Sunbird on page 875.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Violet-backed Sunbird in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Western Violet-backed Sunbird has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 12 gms. The head is coloured violet while the bill is coloured black. The Anthreptes longuemarei has a brown coloured throat, black legs and a violet coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Anthreptes longuemarei has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is violet.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is brown.

Back is violet.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Juvenile  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Western Violetbacked Sunbird Feeding Habits ...

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

Western Violet Backed Sunbird Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Western Violet-backed Sunbird is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured brown.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Western Violet-backed Sunbird is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

It is seen in pairs mainly but also by itself!