Nectarinia jugularis

Nectarinia jugularis (Yellow breasted Sun bird) adult male

(Yellow-breasted Sunbird)




Nectarina jugularis

Common name(s)

Yellow-breasted Sunbird

Main colour(s)

Males: glossy blue-black head, wings and upperparts, a bright red throat and chest, a white belly with a central dark streak and a bright red undertail

Females: grey above, white below, with a grey streak on the belly, and a paler red undertail

Juveniles: resemble females but are paler and have an orange, rather than dark, bill


9–10 cm long and 7.5–11 g weight


Orpheus Island Research Station




Sunbirds survive mainly on nectar, although they may snack on the occasional insect. Their nectar extraction equipment include: a long, slender, decurved bill with fine serration along the margins of both mandibles; and a tubular, deeply cleft tongue. Males are particularly territorial and may defend a good feeding site from other Sunbirds.

Sunbirds form monogamous pairs. The Olive-backed Sunbirds breed in April-August. They build a hanging flask-shaped nest with an overhanging porch at the entrance, and a trail of hanging material at the bottom end. Materials used include plant fibres, mosses, spider's web. The nest is lined with soft fluffy seeds (e.g., kapok, lallang grass seeds). The outside of the nest is often untidy and decorated with lichens, dead leaves and seed cases. They usually nest low in bushes and trees, often builds nests close to and even in human habitation 2 greenish-blue eggs with dark brown spots and lines are laid. Males usually don't help in incubation, but may help out in raising the young.

Sites where this species can be found at OIRS

This species is mainly seen nesting in the lab and staff accommodation areas.

Research that has been undertaken at OIRS


 juvenile male Yellow breasted Sunbird

Juvenile Male

Nectarinia jugularis (Yellow-breasted Sunbird) nest with female.jpg

Nest with Female