Brown-throated Sunbird

Brown-throated Sunbird
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis, male, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China, January. (Craig Brelsford)
Brown-throated Sunbird
Female, Singapore, May. (Craig Brelsford)

Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis ranges Burma to Greater Sundas and Philippines. In China, nominate recorded southern Yunnan (Xishuangbanna). HABITAT Forests and gardens, to 1200 m (3,940 ft.). ID Large, stocky. Male has diagnostic greenish-brown sides of head and pinkish-brown chin and throat separated by metallic purple malar stripes. Iridescent purple-green on crown and back and chestnut on upper-wing coverts and scapulars. Underparts bright yellow. Female olive-green above, yellowish-green below and has narrow yellowish patch above and below eye; has no white on tail and no yellow on rump. BARE PARTS Bill black, legs brown, irides red. VOICE Piercing, monotonous chip song, the single syllable repeated several times; various other shrill notes and chatter. — Craig Brelsford

THE SUNBIRDS OF CHINA has research on all 13 species in the family Nectariniidae in China. Click any link below:

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus
Olive-backed Sunbird C. jugularis
Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae
Green-tailed Sunbird A. nipalensis
Fork-tailed Sunbird A. christinae
Black-throated Sunbird A. saturata
Crimson Sunbird A. siparaja
Fire-tailed Sunbird A. ignicauda
Purple-naped Sunbird Kurochkinegramma hypogrammicum
Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
Streaked Spiderhunter A. magna


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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