Purple sunbird

Purple sunbird, Photo: Ikbal H. Babu

নীলটুনি / মধুচুষকি

Cinnyris asiaticus (Latham, 1790)

রাজ্য / Kingdom:Animalia
বর্গ / Order:Passeriformes
পরিবার / Family:Nectariniidae
গন / Genus:Cinnyris
প্রজাতি / Species:C. asiaticus

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Purple sunbird is among the small birds in the country having a length of 9-10 cm and weighing about 4-5 gm. Breeding male has metallic dark blue and purple plumage. From a distance and according to the light condition it may appear black. It has bright yellow and scarlet pectoral tufts and dark brown wings. 

Non-breeding male resembles the appearance of females. It is brown-olive above and pale dull yellow below and blackish wing & tail. It has got a broad black stripe running down and middle to the breast.

Female is yellow grey to olive brown above and yellowish below. It has a faint yellow super cilium.  Its black tail has a white narrow tip. 

Food habit: Mainly eat feeds on nectar and fruit juice. Its slender curved bill and tubular tongue is excellent for probing into the flower tubes and sucking nectar. It also catches insects, spiders etc.

Call: Sharp monosyllabic “wich-wich”. Breeding males are particularly noisy and sings excitedly on open perches, “cheewit-cheewit-cheewit”.

Breeding habit: March to June is its breeding season although it may vary. Its nest is an oblong pendulous pouch with soft grass.

Female lays 2-3 eggs, grayish or greenish white marked with various shades of brown and grey. Incubation period is about 15-17 days, female alone does the incubation.

Habitat:  It is seen commonly in gardens, groves, woodlands, bushy terrain, cultivated and scrub country, light deciduous forests.

Distribution: Throughout the Indian region, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iran, Afghanistan, Indochina.   


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