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Hedydipna collaris (Collared sunbird) 

[= Anthreptes collaris

Kortbeksuikerbekkie [Afrikaans]; Inqathane [Xhosa]; iNgqwathane, iNqwathane, iNtonso [Zulu]; Kalyambya (generic term for sunbird) [Kwangali]; Nwapyopyamhanya (generic term for sunbird) [Tsonga]; halsband-honingzuiger [Dutch]; Souimanga collier [French]; Waldnektarvogel, Stahlnektarvogel [German]; Beija-flor-de-colar [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Nectariniidae

Hedydipna collaris (Collared sunbird) male Hedydipna collaris (Collared sunbird) female
Collared sunbird male in a garden in Nairobi, Kenya. [photo Karen van Otterloo ] Collared sunbird female in a garden in Nairobi, Kenya. [photo Karen van Otterloo ]]
Hedydipna collaris (Collared sunbird)  Hedydipna collaris (Collared sunbird) 
Collared sunbird male, Kruger National Park, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ] Collared sunbird juvenile, Kruger National Park, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in patches across sub-Saharan Africa, from Guinea to Ethiopia south to southern Africa. Here it is locally common in Mozambique, northern and south-eastern Zimbabwe, northern Botswana, Caprivi Strip (Namibia) and north-eastern and south-eastern South Africa. It generally prefers Afromontane, coastal and lowland evergreen forest, or occasionally in thorny savanna and gardens adjacent to forests.

Distribution of Collared sunbird in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project ( Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Predators and parasites

It has been recorded as host of the following parasites

  • Sporozoan parasites
    • Leococytozoan nectariniae
    • Haemoproteus sequeirae
    • Plasmodium vaughani
  • Trypanosoma avium (flagellated trypanosome)
  • Nuttalia

Brood parasites

It has been recorded as host of the Klaas's cuckoo.


It mainly eats arthropods and nectar, gleaning prey from foliage and hawking insects aerially. It often joins mixed-species foraging flocks, along with other sunbirds, white-eyes and Green-backed camaropteras. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Plants
    • nectar
      • Halleria lucida (Tree-fuchsia)
      • Burchellia bubalina (Wild pomegranate)
      • Albizia
      • Aloe
      • Erythrina (coral-trees)
      • Faurea saligna (Willow beechwood)
      • Combretum microphyllum (Flame climbing bushwillow)
      • Ficus burtt-davyi (Scrambling fig)
      • Hibiscus
      • Kalanchoe
      • Leonotis (wild daggas)
      • Mimusops caffra (Coastal red-milkwood)
      • Schotia afra (Karoo boer-bean)
      • Strelitizia nicolai (Coastal strelitzia)
      • Tecoma capensis (Cape honeysuckle)
      • Loranthaceae (mistletoes)
      • alien plants
        • Caesalpinia (flamboyants)
        • Eucalyptus
        • Fuchsia
        • Hibiscus
        • Lantana camara (Cherry pie)
        • Salvia
        • Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda)
    • fruit
      • Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Bushtick-berry)
      • Macaranga capensis (River macaranga)
      • Trema orientalis (Pigeonwood)
  • Invertebrates


  • The nest is built solely by the female, consisting of an untidy oval-shaped structure built of dry grass, rootlets, twigs, tendrils and leaves bound together with spider web, with a tail material protruding from the base. The side entance is positioned on the side, with a small grass "porch" beneath it, while the interior is lined with wiry plant fibres, horse hair, rootlets and feathers. It is typically strung from the outer foliage of a sapling, shrub or creeper, often facing east with a wasp nest nearby.
  • Egg-laying season is almost year-round, peaking from September-January.
  • It lays 1-4 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 12-14 days, occasionally leaving the nest to go and forage.
  • The chicks are mainly fed by the female, leaving the nest after about 13-17 days and becoming independent roughly 24 days later.



Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.