Plain-backed Sunbird | Anthreptes reichenowi

Robert's Birding Information: Plain Backed Sunbird

The Plain-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 Plain-backed Sunbird (Latin name Anthreptes reichenowi) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anthreptes reichenowi can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 794 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 975. You will find a picture of the Plain-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 Blue-throated Sunbird in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Plain-backed Sunbird has a height of 10 cms and weighs around 8 gms. The head is coloured blue, black while the bill is coloured black. The Anthreptes reichenowi has a brown coloured throat, black legs and a blue, black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Anthreptes reichenowi 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 blue, black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is brown.

Back is blue, black.

Plain Backed 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.

Plain Backed Sunbird Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Plain-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 red.

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

The Plain-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 ...

The Plain-backed Sunbird is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in pairs.