Alternative names: Yellow-backed Sunbird; Goulpourah Sunbird; Eastern Crimson Sunbird
- Aethopyga siparaja
Crimson Sunbirds are tiny, only 11 cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.
The adult male has a crimson breast and maroon back. The rump is yellow and the belly is olive.
The female has an olive-green back, yellowish breast and white tips to the outer tail feathers.
Found from India east over the Himalayas, southwest China, Indochina, Malaysia and the Philippines to Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi (Indonesia).
There are 15 subspecies:
- A. s. seheriae: Nepal to Assam, Bangladesh, Burma, south-western China and north-western Thailand
- A. s. labecula: Eastern Himalayas (Bhutan to Arundal Pradesh, Assam and Bangladesh)
- A. s. owstoni: Southern China (Naochow Island off Luichow Peninsula)
- A. s. tonkinensis: Southern China (south-eastern Yunnan) and north-eastern Vietnam
- A. s. mangini: South-eastern Thailand to central and southern Indochina
- A. s. insularis: Phu Quoc Island (off extreme southern Cambodia)
- A. s. cara: Southern Burma, Thailand and Mergui Archipelago
- A. s. trangensis: Peninsula Thailand, northern Malay Peninsula and adjacent Burma
- A. s. siparaja: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and adjacent offshore islands
- A. s. nicobarica: Nicobar Islands
- A. s. heliogona: Java
- A. s. natunae: North Natuna Islands
- A. s. magnifica: Philippines (Cebu, Negros, Panay, Sibuyan and Tablas)
- A. s. flavostriata: Northern Sulawesi
- A. s. beccarii: Central, south-eastern and southern Sulawesi; Butung, Muna and Kabaena islands
Vigors's Sunbird was formerly included in this species.
Found in forest, scrub and gardens below 1,800.
Feeds on nectar, insects and spiders.
Two eggs or three eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. In India it's parasitised by the Asian Emerald Cuckoo.
Like all sunbirds this species has a fast and direct flight with their short wings. They can hover like hummingbirds, but usually perch to feed most of the time.
- Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
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