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Books about Sunbirds

This page lists books that are totally or partially about Sunbirds. The books are listed in order of publication date with the most recent at the top.

Family: Nectariniidae

There are approximately 120 species of Sunbirds found in Africa, Asia and Australia.


Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 13: Penduline Tits to Shrikes

Edited by Josep Del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and David Christie

Lynx Edicions


This volume nuthatches, wallcreeper, treecreepers, philippine creepers, penduline tits, painted berrypeckers, berrypeckers and longbills, sunbirds, flowerpeckers, pardalotes, white-eyes, sugarbirds, honeyeaters, old world orioles, true shrikes.

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Sunbirds: A Guide to the Sunbirds, Flowerpeckers, Spiderhunters and Sugarbirds of the World

Robert A. Cheke and Clive F. Mann

Illustrations: Richard Allen

Pica Press


This guide provides a comprehensive resource on the sunbirds and their allies, with 48 colour plates portraying all major plumage variations and many species depicted on typical food plants.

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Honeyeaters and their Allies of Australia

Editor: Wayne Longmore

Birds Of Australia series

The National Photographic index of Australian Wildlife

Angus & Robertson


"Includes coverage of honeyeaters, sunbirds, flowerpeckers, pardalotes and white-eyes."

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The Sunbirds of Southern Africa: Also Sugarbirds, White-Eyes and the Spotted Creeper

C.J. Skead



351 pages with 10 colour plates, black and white illustrations, distribution maps and a 7" gramophone record with recordings of some of the species.

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Catalogue Of The Passeriformes or Perching Birds In The Collection Of The British Museum

Cinnyrimorphae, containing the families Nectariniidae and Meliphagidae

Catalogue Of The Birds In The British Museum, Volume IX

Hans Gadow

8 colour plates: J. Smit

Printed By Order Of The Trustees

Printed by Taylor & Francis



"The Ninth Volume of the 'Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum' contains an account of all the species of Cinnyrimorphae known at present, and was prepared by the author of the previous volume, Dr. H. Gadow. The total number of species described amounts to 355, of which 291 are in the British Museum; they are represented by 2450 specimens. Of the principal donors I have to mention B. H. Hodgson, Esq., Capt. Stackhouse Pinwill, F. D. Godman, Esq., 0. Salvin, Esq., Sir John Kirk, W. E. and C. G. Gates, Esqrs., H. Seebohm, Esq., A. 0. Hume, Esq., W. Davidson, Esq., Capt. Wardlaw Ramsay, and Capt. Trevelyan. The proof-sheets were again revised by Mr. Sharpe, but submitted to the author before sending them to the press."
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A Monograph Of The Nectariniidae, Or, Family Of Sun-Birds

Captain G.E. Shelley

Plates: J.G. Keulemans

Published by the author


From the introduction:

"I believe that my first attraction towards the family of Sun-birds took place in Nubia, where I fell in with Hedydipna metallica, the first truly tropical form of bird that I had ever procured. The sense of pleasure with which I preserved my first specimens of this beautiful little species on the banks of the Nile above the First Cataract, and the engaging habits of the species, impressed me so much, that on all my subsequent visits to the African continent I paid especial attention to the Sun-birds in each country I visited. At that time, in the year 1870, I believe that both the late Marquis of Tweeddale and Mr. Bowdler Sharpe contemplated the production of a Monograph of the Nectariniidae; and it was only on their making no signs in this direction that, after the lapse of some years, I commenced to write the present work. If I have succeeded in reducing the family to a better state of order than it before exhibited, it is in a great measure due to the kindly assistance which I have received from ornithologists in all parts of the world, while at the same time I feel that I have left no stone unturned, nor spared any pains in my endeavour to make my Monograph as complete as circumstances would allow."

"The illustrations, which form such an important portion of my Monograph, have all been executed by Mr. Keulemans, whose name is sufficient guarantee for the accuracy of the details and for high artistic skill. The latter is rendered perhaps more striking from his being acquainted with this family of birds in their native haunts ; and his notes upon the Sun-birds inhabiting Prince's Island have been incorporated in my work."

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On the Sun-birds of the Indian and Australian Regions

Arthur Viscount Walden

Color plate (Aethopyga christinae and Nectarophila grayi): J.G. Keulemans

Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 18-51



Opening lines:

"All those Sun-birds which are not found in the Ethiopian region form the subject-matter of this paper. The geographical range of the group extends, on the mainland of Asia, from the mouth of the Indus, in the west, to the shores of the Chinese Sea in the east. It includes, besides Ceylon, nearly all, if not all, the islands of the Indo-Malayan and Austro-Malayan subregions."
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Last updated December 2011