Copper (Coppery) Sunbird | Cinnyris cupreus

Robert's Birding Information: Copper Sunbird

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

The description for the Copper Sunbird (Latin name Cinnyris cupreus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Cinnyris cupreus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 778 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 995. You will find a picture of the Copper 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 Coppery Sunbird in the Roberts 6th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Nectarinia cuprea in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Copper Sunbird has a height of 12 cms and weighs around 10 gms. The head is coloured red while the bill is coloured black. The Cinnyris cupreus has a red coloured throat, black legs and a red coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Cinnyris cupreus 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 red.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is red.

Back is red.

Copper 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.

Copper Sunbird Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Copper 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 2 eggs and they are coloured yellow.

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

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

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

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

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

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