I love Sunbirds (Family: Nectariniidae). They are colorful, tiny and shiny with a distinct call. They are sprightly and difficult to photograph as they just don’t know how to sit still. To top it it’s a task getting a good view of them from the balcony and Lord, how they love to sit on far away wires. I loving call them sunnies!
I can see the Purple Sun Bird around my place and it’s sheer joy. The male is all shiny & colorful while the female are olive brown above with a yellow underside.
During courtship displays, the male raises his head, fans his tail and flutters with partly open wings that expose the bright yellow pectoral tufts (like the Loten’s sunbird) and sings before the female.
During breeding the male plumage has a metallic bluish to purplish sheen with a tinge of black on the upper & under parts. The wings are of dark brown shade. You may see a patch of bright blue and/or maroon too during this time. The non-breeding males look similar to the female though they have a central streak of black on yellow underparts.
I have often seen the males with yellow-cream underparts with black patches and neck above in scintillating blue-black-purple and dark brown wings. I came across it as adult male “intermediate morph” [“…..within species there can be different color forms also known as alternative phenotypes…..”] Some say it’s eclipse plumage. The debate is still on!
In it’s non breeding avtaar the male looks similar to the female. The only thing that differentiates them is the black streak in its yellow underparts.
The sunbirds are small in size (between 9-22 cm) and a characteristic is their down curved beaks, which in some species exceeds the length of the head.
I get to see them while the sun is rising and many a times the shine gets missed. I have been lucky on a few occasions and could capture the colorful gloss.
Sunbirds, birds like hummingbirds, honeyeaters, honeycreepers and spiderhunters, are known for ornithophily (pollination of flowering plants by birds)
With “stay at home” norms, the birds are enjoying the silence and the freedom. It has been a boon for nature. The tiny birds can be seen happily flitting about and yes there has been an increase in their number.
I had spotted the bright and sprightly Crimson Sunbird | Aethopyga Siparaja early in the morning in Pangot last year…… flitting around the crimson hibiscus flowers drinking nectar. Sharing a short video on it.
It’s a delight to watch them and I look forward to them every single day however far they sit and look like a speck ……. a customary photo is shot as a ritual hahahahahaa.
Do watch out for my next post on another species from my #BalconyBirding list
Posts shared so far on:
1. Rosy Starlings
2. Alexandrine Parakeet
3. Rose-Ringed Parakeet
4. Plum Headed Parakeet
5. Indian Spot-Billed Duck
6. Yellow-Footed Green Pigeon
7. Black-Winged Stilt
8. Indian Peafowl
9. Indian Purple Sunbird
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The Soul Is Here For It’s Own Joy!
Monika Ohson | TravelerInMe