Olive-backed Sunbird

Olive-backed Sunbird perched on a branch

What does it look and sound like? The long downwardly curved bill resembles that of some honeyeaters, but the bright yellow underparts prevents any confusion. The yellow colouration extends to the throat and upper breast of the female but it is replaced in the male by glossy blue-black feathers. The Olive-backed Sunbird gives high-pitched notes in flight and display. 

Where does it live? Australia’s only sunbird is a familiar bird of the tropical north-eastern coast.

What are its habitats and habits? It can be found along the edges of rainforests and in tropical suburban parks and gardens. Nests are often built around houses, where individuals become less wary of humans. Also often referred to by its alternative common name of Yellow-bellied Sunbird.

Interesting fact: The Olive-backed Sunbird often hovers to take nectar from flowers and also shows a liking for spiders.

Scientific name: Cinnyris jugularis

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store