Olive-backed sunbird


Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN
Common name: Olive-backed Sunbird
Scientific name: Cinnyris jugularis
Type: Bird
Diet: Nectar and Insects
Length: 12 cm (Adult)
Weight: 9 g (Adult)

The olive-backed sunbird is the most common sunbird in Singapore.

They are small songbirds, at most 12 cm long. In most subspecies, the underparts of both male and female are bright yellow, the backs are a dull brown color. The forehead, throat and upper breast of the adult male is a dark, metallic blue-black.

Originally from mangrove habitat, the Olive-backed sunbird has adapted well to humans, and is now common in fairly densely populated areas, even forming their nests in human dwellings.

In one instance, a couple of sunbirds built a nest in a potted plant(located along an HDB corridor) owned by one family in Sengkang and provided the family with an opportunity to observe the birth and growth of a sunbird youngling.


  1. Yong, D., Lim, K., Lee, T., Yap, F. and Foley, C. (n.d.). A naturalist’s guide to the birds of Singapore.
  2.  Mothership.sg. (2017). Olive-backed sunbirds build nest at Sengkang family’s potted plant, humans enjoy free science lesson. [online] Available at: https://mothership.sg/2017/04/olive-backed-sunbirds-build-nest-at-sengkang-familys-potted-plant-humans-enjoy-free-science-lesson
  3. Christian Perez. “The Birds of Alabang Hills”. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  4. Olive-backed Sunbird Archived 21 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. BirdLife International (2004). “Nectarinia jugularis”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2 May 2007.

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