Loten’s Sunbird – Cinnyris Lotenius

Loten’s Sunbird is a small bird from the Nectariniidae family with long and curved bills. This bird often visits the our garden to feed on the flowers. This and the Purple-rumped Sunbird are two most common sunbirds seen in Kerala.


Lotens Sunbird (Male) - Cinnyris Lotenius - from Cheruvally, Kerala

Photo 1: The male. Exif- f/8, 1/800s, ISO 400, 450mm, Nikon D7100, Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3. Date- October 7, 2013. Location- Cheruvally, Kerala.

Loten's Sunbird Female - Cinnyris Lotenius - Birds of Kerala

Photo 2: The Female. Exif- f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 800, 500mm, Nikon D7100, Nikkor 200-500mm f5.6E. Date- June 10, 2016. Location- Cheruvally, Kerala.

More about Loten’s Sunbird – Cinnyris Lotenius

The distribution of the bird is confined to southern India (mainly Sahyadri) and Sri Lanka. That means it is an endemic species.

Habitat: Commonly seen in villages, gardens.

Size: About 13 centimeters.

The bird looks similar to the Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus). But the C.asiaticus is smaller in size. Also, the bills are shorter and less curved. It has a wider range of distribution in south, south-east and western Asia.

Loten’s Sunbird’s primary plumage color is shining blue. There is a maroon band on the chest. So it has another name – Maroon-breasted Sunbird. The belly area is brown colored. The female has a different appearance with yellow plumage. The upper side is darker while the lower side is light yellow.

Loten’s and the Purple-rumped Sunbird are often seen fighting to feed on the same plant. Firebush plant is a favourite plant for both.