Amethyst Sunbird (African Black Sunbird)| Chalcomitra amethystina

Roberts Birding Information: Amethyst (African Black) Sunbird

The Amethyst Sunbird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Nectariniidae bird family group which includes birds such as Sunbirds.Juvenile Amethyst (African Black) Sunbird

The description for the Amethyst Sunbird (Latin name Chalcomitra amethystina) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Chalcomitra amethystina can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 792 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 981. You will find a picture of the Amethyst Sunbird on page 1008.

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 Black Sunbird in the Roberts 6th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Nectarinia amethystina in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Amethyst Sunbird is known in Afrikaans as Swartsuikerbekkie.

The Amethyst Sunbird has a height of 14 cms and weighs around 13 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Chalcomitra amethystina has a purple coloured throat, black legs and a purple, black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

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 black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is purple.

Back is purple, black

Amethyst Black Sunbird Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Chalcomitra amethystina attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that's when the prey comes out in the open.

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.

Amethyst (African Black) Sunbird Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Amethyst 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 grey.

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

The Amethyst Sunbird is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the African bushveld.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Amethyst Sunbird is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.