Some extensive web searching has not helped me find this bird I discovered in my travels. They were flitting too fast to get a decent picture, but here is the best description I can obtain from memory:

Dark Grey from their head to their back. Their wings looked black but, as I said, they were flying about. Throat and breast were pale, probably white. Belly and vent were bright yellow. Their beak was a similar shape to the Purple Sunbird. They were taking nectar from bushes bordering a house which had small white flowers.

  • $\begingroup$ You should add size description as far as it is possible. To which common bird can they be compared in size? $\endgroup$
    – cezar
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


There are 4 species of Sunbirds in Oman. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_birds_of_Oman

Based on your description and how common are the different species I think they were most likely mainly Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_sunbird At the moment, in fact, they are not purple at all. They are moulting their feathers and also the male have extensive yellow on breast and belly. Among the species of Oman's Sunbirds it is the only one that shows black wings (in males) contrasting with the brownish/grey upper parts precisely as you observed.

MOULTING MALE enter image description here

FEMALE (left) enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible for the purple sunbird to have much darker back plumage than this? The one I saw definitely wasn't this light. Also the distinction between the white/beige front and bright yellow bum was quite clear to me as it was a sunny day. I had found that list of birds, but I was wondering if it was incomplete. It is wikipedia after all and ornithological discoveries tend to be much more advanced than what is available on the internet. $\endgroup$
    – Ajali
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 14:17
  • $\begingroup$ I checked the wiki list and compared with birds of middle east "Birds of the Middle East" By Richard Porter, Simon Aspinall and it is accurate. On the book books.google.de/books/about/… you can see the distribution of the different species. It may give further hints. And...yes if they are in a more or less advanced state of the moult the back will appear darker or lighter. $\endgroup$
    – have fun
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 14:47

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