Fun Olive-backed Sunbird Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Olive-backed Sunbird Facts For Kids

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The olive-backed sunbird is an Old World songbird species native to the regions of Oceania, Asia, and Australia. The olive-backed sunbird is much closer to the African sunbird species, so it can be assumed that the species originally migrated from Africa and Europe to Asia. Currently, the olive-backed sunbird species is not migratory but is found in places like Australia's Queensland, Southeast Asia, including southern China, and the islands like Solomon, New Guinea, and Maluku. Olive-backed sunbirds do not like dense forests and are often seen inhabiting edges of forests and mangroves. These birds have adapted well to human populations and are often seen nesting in human-made buildings and in parks and gardens. They are beautiful and colorful birds with olive-brown backs, from where they get their name. Only the male birds have an iridescent blue patch on their throats and breasts. According to the IUCN, the olive-backed sunbird species is Least Concern.

For more relatable content, check out these umbrellabird facts and ani bird facts pages.

Fun Olive-backed Sunbird Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Nectar from flowers of bottlebrushes, Erythrina, Russelia, insects, spiders, termites, ants, and invertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1-2 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.2-0.3 oz (7-8 g)

How long are they?

4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm)

How tall are they?

Wingspan: 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm)

What do they look like?

Olive, yellow, brown, blue, green, orange, black, gray, purple, and white

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Crows, Monitor Lizards, Crab-eating Macaque

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Secondary Forests, Woodlands, Coastal Areas, Gardens, Parks, Urban Areas, Forest Edges, Orchards, Open Areas, Plantations, Mangrove Edges


Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Southern China, New Guinea, Malaysia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Maluku









Olive-backed Sunbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an olive-backed sunbird?

The olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) is a bird.

What class of animal does an olive-backed sunbird belong to?

The olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) species belongs to the Aves class of animals.

How many olive-backed sunbirds are there in the world?

It is unclear how many olive-backed sunbirds are present in the world since these birds are spread over a really large range and are fairly common.

Where does an olive-backed sunbird live?

The olive-backed sunbird habitat range is very extensive, stretching across Asia, Australia, and Oceania. This bird is common in Southeast Asia and southern China as well as in Australia's Queensland, Singapore, and the Solomon Islands.

Since this bird species is closer to African sunbirds, it is possible that olive-backed sunbirds originally migrated from Africa and even Europe to Asia. The Australian range of olive-backed sunbirds extends into the Great Dividing Range. The species is also found in New Guinea's coastal regions, Maluku, Malaysia, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India.

What is an olive-backed sunbird's habitat?

The olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) is originally from mangrove habitats. This sunbird is fairly common in urban areas and tolerates human populations very well, regularly building its nests in human-made dwellings. The olive-backed sunbird is also common in orchards, secondary forests, plantations, open areas, gardens, coastal areas, woodlands, and parks.

The olive-backed sunbird (or the yellow-bellied sunbird) is never found in dense forests but rather at the edges of rainforests and mangroves. It inhabits various strata in its forest edge habitats, including the canopy, midstorey, understorey, and the ground. It is found at elevations of 0-1,969 ft (0-600.2 m)

Who do olive-backed sunbirds live with?

Olive-backed sunbirds are often seen foraging in pairs and in small groups.

How long does an olive-backed sunbird live?

Being a sunbird, the olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) may live for 16-22 years.

How do they reproduce?

The olive-backed sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) reproduces by mating and laying eggs. The breeding season for olive-backed sunbirds is April to August in the Northern Hemisphere of the world and August to January in the Southern Hemisphere habitats. In Singapore, the breeding season is January to July. Adult male birds are known to perform a courtship display that involves a rapid fluttering of unfolded wings, turning its pectoral tufts outside, including the shoulder feathers. The male birds also move from one side to the other and attempt to come close to females while making loud calls.

Adult male and female sunbirds both build a flask-shaped nest that has some hanging materials on the bottom and an overhanging porch near the entry of the nest. The outer side of the olive-backed sunbird nest is made from woven branches, lichens, dead leaves, fecal pellets of caterpillars, and other plant materials. The nest is usually built at low heights in trees and bushes, under the canopy of trees, on verandas, in human-made buildings, even balconies of houses.

The nest is left alone by the male and female sunbirds for close to a week. The female olive-backed sunbird then comes back to lay one to two eggs, greenish-blue in color. The females are the incubators of the family but may leave the nest for small amounts of time. The eggs hatch within a week of being laid, and both parents take care of the young chicks, feeding them a diet of insects to make them strong. The chicks are able to leave the nest within two to three weeks of hatching.

What is their conservation status?

 The conservation status of the olive-backed sunbird (or the yellow-bellied sunbird) species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is Least Concern.

Olive-Backed Sunbird Fun Facts

What do olive-backed sunbirds look like?

Olive-backed sunbirds are small songbirds. The underparts are a bright yellow color and the backs are an olive-brown or dull brown color. There is obvious sexual dimorphism. The throat, upper breast, chin, and forehead are colored a metallic blue-black in males, while in the females, they are yellow, the same color as the underparts. The bluish-black parts of the male olive-backed sunbird can also look iridescent bluish-green with a purple sheen or a glossy black. Some of the male birds in the Philippines tend to have an orange chest band, while some of the subspecies in New Guinea and Wallacea have blackish underparts. Also, in southern China and Vietnam, the males have grayish-white underparts.

The wings of olive-backed sunbirds are grayish-brown. The irises of the eyes are dark brown and the feet, tail, and the long, down-curved bills are black. They also have white-colored tail edges that flare out in flight. The flight feathers are an overall brownish-gray color.

Olive-backed sunbird juvenile chicks have plumage similar to the females, and the hatchlings have orange skin.

Olive-backed sunbirds have brownish-gray wing feathers.

How cute are they?

Olive-backed sunbirds are gorgeous-looking birds. They are adorably small and have a lot of subtle colors. The males are especially beautiful with their iridescent blue throat patches.

How do they communicate?

Olive-backed sunbirds are songbirds so they communicate with songs and calls. The call is a crisp-sounding 'tweet-tweet'. The song of the males is a clear and sharp 'cheew-wee tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet'. In-flight, the olive-backed sunbird's twitters resemble those of the swallows. The call can also be characterized as a metallic and high-pitched chirp 'cheep, cheep, wheet' or a rising 'chee'.

How big is an olive-backed sunbird?

Olive-backed sunbirds are 4.3-4.7 in (11-12 cm) long, which makes them seven to eight times smaller than crowned eagles.

Also, the olive-backed sunbird wingspan is 5.5-6.7 in (14-17 cm).

How fast can an olive-backed sunbird fly?

The exact speeds are not known, but being small to medium-sized, olive-backed sunbirds can fly at least at speeds of 25 mph (40.2 kph). Also, the olive-backed sunbird flight is darting and quick and the wing-bats are fast too.

How much does an olive-backed sunbird weigh?

An olive-backed sunbird (or the yellow-bellied sunbird) weighs 0.2-0.3 oz (7-8 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female birds of the olive-backed sunbird species do not have specific names.

What would you call a baby olive-backed sunbird?

A baby olive-backed sunbird is called a chick.

What do they eat?

Olive-backed sunbirds feed on the nectar from flowers of bottlebrushes, Erythrina, and Russelia. The olive-backed sunbird diet also includes insects, spiders, termites, ants, and invertebrates.

Predators of the olive-backed sunbird species include monitor lizards, crab-eating macaques, and crows.

Are they dangerous?

No, olive-backed sunbirds are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

No, olive-backed sunbirds would not do very well in captive situations. They are already similar to pets in urban area they inhabit, often nesting close to people, like on terraces of buildings.

Did you know...

In India, the olive-backed sunbird is found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Olive-backed sunbirds are not migratory.

Sunbirds live for 16-22 years. Also, sunbirds lay one to three eggs in a clutch.

Olive-backed sunbird pollination is vital to many ecosystems since they are active feeders of flower nectar.

The female bird of the brown-throated sunbird species has a yellow-colored belly and a thicker and larger bill but does not have the whitetail patches that the olive-backed sunbird female.

The olive-backed sunbird is also known by the names Malayan yellow-breasted sunbird, yellow-breasted sunbird, and yellow-bellied sunbird.

How do you attract olive-backed sunbirds?

It is not very difficult to attract olive-backed sunbirds when you live within their habitat range. Blooming plants in your garden attract sunbirds, and you can also put out sugar-water bird feeders.

Is the olive-backed sunbird endangered?

No, olive-backed sunbirds are not endangered.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Anna's hummingbird facts and the giant cowbird facts pages.

You can occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable green-tailed sunbird coloring pages.

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