The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

White-bellied Sunbird

Afrikaans name: Witpenssuikerbekkie

White-bellied Sunbird

A White-bellied Sunbird feeding on an aloe

Photo © Steven Herbert

Cinnyris talatala

The White-bellied Sunbird is a common species across much of the east of South Africa. North of South Africa its range extends to Tanzania.

The male is a beautiful metallic green on top and the chest with white underparts. The female is a drab two-tone brown.

The White-bellied Sunbird feeds on nectar from a wide variety of plants and it also eats insects such as moths, ants and aphids. It will also eat spiders.

Their nest hangs from a twig and is a rough looking structure made of grass and leaves. They use spider web to bind it together. Up to 3 eggs are laid and it is the females job to incubate them.

References and further reading

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 63

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 164

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 324

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 93

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 412

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 376

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 695

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 694

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 542

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 532

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 106

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 394

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 296

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 104

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 394

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 127

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 126

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 198

Common Birds of the North Coast - Author: Bing Comrie - Published: 2005 - Page: 67

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 71

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 246

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 263

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 202

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 106

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 110

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 37

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 37

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 286


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List of South African Birds

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