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Elegant Sunbird Aethopyga duyvenbodei
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This sunbird is now confined to one very small island, where its population is severely fragmented. Although it can persist in degraded habitats, it is suspected to be undergoing a continuing decline as both primary and secondary habitats are being lost through human encroachment. It therefore qualifies as Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

12 cm. Large, brightly-coloured sunbird. Male has purplish-red ear-coverts and collar, metallic green-and-blue patches on crown, upperwing-coverts and uppertail-coverts, yellowish-olive back, yellow rump-band and underparts. Female is much duller, with yellowish-olive upperparts and yellow rump and underparts. Similar spp. Male Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis has brown throat and purplish wings and tail. It lacks a yellow rump, as does the female. Voice Undocumented, but presumably has high-pitched calls and twittering song, like close congeners.

Distribution and population
Aethopyga duyvenbodei is currently known from Sangihe, north of Sulawesi, Indonesia, although there is an historical record from nearby Siau (BirdLife International 2001). In 1995, it was found to be regular at low densities at seven localities and in 1998-1999 it was the most commonly encountered forest species at Gunung Sahendaruman, suggesting locally high population densities. It was also found to occur at low densities in secondary habitats well isolated from primary forest, suggesting resilience to habitat loss (Riley 2002). It is, however, absent from large areas of the island, and continuing loss of both primary and secondary forest habitat suggests that populations continue to decline.

Population justification
Surveys carried out in 1998-1999 found high densities in both primary forest and adjacent secondary habitats. Low densities were also recorded in secondary habitats that were isolated from primary forest. As such, the population estimate was revised to take into account both higer abundance in key habitats, and presence in larger areas of secondary habitat, resulting in an increased estimate of 18,900-43,800 individuals, roughly equivalent to 13,000-29,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Despite this species's tolerance of secondary habitats, moderate population declines are suspected to be continuing, as both primary and secondary forest habitats are being affected by encroachment and fragmentation throughout its range.

It is a resident in primary forest, forest edge, adjacent low scrub and plantations (when hardwoods persist in the vicinity and a scrubby understorey is available) at 75-1,000 m. It is usually encountered singly or in pairs, often within mixed-species flocks.

Original forest on Sangihe has been almost completely cleared. This species is now known to survive in secondary habitats without adjacent primary forest patches (Riley 2002), but agricultural intensification is reducing the available area of even these modified habitats. The tiny remaining area of primary forest, around which the main population is centred, receives inadequate protection and continues to suffer from agricultural encroachment at its lower fringes. Forest-cover on the volcanically active island of Siau is extremely limited and the species is either extinct there, or survives in tiny numbers.

Conservation Actions Underway
Forest on Gunung Sahendaruman is nominally conserved, although few measures have been taken. Since 1995, the "Action Sampiri" project has conducted fieldwork, conservation awareness programmes and developed ideas for future land-use through agreements between interested parties. As a result, plans are in progress to reclassify the 4 km2 Gunung Sahengbalira "protection forest" as a wildlife reserve. Some forest in the Kentuhang valley is protected as the watershed for a hydroelectric scheme. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to monitor population trends and locate key remnant forests with a view to affording them protection. Investigate the ecological requirements of the species so that an effective conservation strategy can be devised. Ensure effective protection of habitat on Gunung Sahendaruman. Support proposals for the rapid establishment of remaining forest on Gunung Sahengbalira as a strict nature reserve. Continue conservation education programmes. Encourage forestry staff to establish a permanent presence on the island.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Riley, J. 2002. Population sizes and the status of endemic and restricted-range bird species on Sangihe Island, Indonesia. Bird Conservation International 12: 53-78.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Aethopyga duyvenbodei. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Elegant sunbird (Aethopyga duyvenbodei) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Nectariniidae (Sunbirds)
Species name author (Schlegel, 1871)
Population size 13000-29000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 560 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species