Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Purple Sunbird, the nectar feeder

Purple Sunbird is a small sized passerine nectar feeder bird. Sunbirds are bold and aggressive and will often fight off larger birds from a preferred food source.

Usually is 10cm in length, width 7.7g, wing 5.5cm, bill 2cm, tarsus 1.4cm and tail 3.3cm. Although very small and active, sunbirds are known to have long lives in the wild: records of lives exceeding 12 years exist.

The male looks different from female. It’s a common resident in villages of Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi and Sylhet division. Bengali name of the bird is Beguni Moutushi.

Globally this is also extends from the Middle East through South, East, and Southeast Asia, including Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Myanmar, Thailand and Indochina.

Habits and behavior

Purple Sunbird inhabits open deciduous forest, cultivation, gardens and homesteads. Usually it seen alone or in pairs.

It feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time.

Breeding and Nesting

Its breeds through the year but mainly season are April-June. The female lays 1-3 grayish-white eggs, 1.6cm x 1.1cm each. Egg incubation time takes 14-15 days. Incubation done by the female alone. Nests are pear-shaped, globular or oval placed in trees or bushes. The nest is an oblong pouch of grass, fiber, leaves and bark, wrapped with cobwebs. The nest is camouflaged by sticking pieces of bark and caterpillar droppings on it.

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