Scarlet-chested Sunbird | Chalcomitra senegalensis

Roberts Birding Information: Scarlet Chested Sunbird

The Scarlet-chested Sunbird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Nectariniidae bird family group which includes birds such as Sunbirds.Scarletchested Sunbird

The description for the Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Latin name Chalcomitra senegalensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Chalcomitra senegalensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 791 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 982. You will find a picture of the Scarlet-chested 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.

The Latin name for this bird is Nectarinia senegalensis in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Scarlet-chested Sunbird is known in Afrikaans as Rooiborssuikerbekkie.

The Scarlet-chested Sunbird has a height of 15 cms and weighs around 14 gms. The head is coloured velvet while the bill is coloured black. The Chalcomitra senegalensis has a scarlet coloured throat, black legs and a velvet coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Chalcomitra senegalensis 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 velvet.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is scarlet

Back is velvet.

Scarletchested Sunbird Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Chalcomitra senegalensis 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.

Scarletchested Sunbird Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Scarlet-chested 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 white.

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

The Scarlet-chested 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 Scarlet-chested Sunbird is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.