A slender sunbird, the male with a bright orange breast. Size 12cm (female) 15cm (male) – much smaller than a sparrow, slender, males have quite a long tail. Afrikaans: Oranjeborssuikerbekkie
As with other sunbirds the bill is long and decurved, that of the male being longer than that of the female. The bill, legs and feet are black. The eye is dark brown.
The head, throat and mantle of the male are bright metallic green. The rest of the upper parts are olive green. The upper breast is metallic violet and the lower breast is bright orange, fading to paler orange and yellow on the belly. The tail is long and blackish, with elongated central tail feathers, which extend some way, belong the other feathers.
The female has olive-greenish grey upper parts and olive yellowish underparts, paler on the belly. The wings and tail is blackish.
This species is restricted to the Cape Fynbos biome, and is usually found in fynbos where Proteas or Ericas are in flower.
The Orange-breasted Sunbird subsists on flower nectar, insects and spiders.
The call is a twangy, weak ssharaynk or sskrang, often repeated several times.
The Orange-breasted Sunbird breeds from February to November (Mainly in May – August) The nest is an oval of rootlets, fine leafy twigs and grass, bound together with spider webs and lined with brown protea fluff. It has a side top entrance, but does not have a covered porch.