Olive-backed Sunbird – extra metallic plumage

on 12th February 2015

“A very friendly male Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris) with the lovely chestnut-red band across the lower breast. It was in full sun which aided a clear observation of the metallic plumage.

“What was curious is the extra metallic plumage just behind the eye. This was symmetrical on both sides (above). Not seen this before. Any opinions on this valued.

“The bird seem to make sure I had my fill of images and gave many different postures showing clearly the violet neck and the emerald green at the base of the mandible. Note the comfort posture in the above image, the ‘one legged stance’ with the other leg comfortably tucked into the breast.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st November 2014

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Fringe of the forest reserve/primary jungle

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

One Response

  1. This video of mine of a male Olive-backed Sunbird sipping nectar of Indian Head Ginger also appears to have the same “extra metallic plumage just behind the eye” ( This video has an added bonus of letting you enjoy viewing the colourful plumage of a male Brown-throated Sunbird in good sunlight.

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