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Collared Sunbird - BirdForum Opus

Male
Photo © by rudydbn
Durban, South Africa, June 2006
Hedydipna collaris

Anthreptes collaris

Identification

Length 10-10.5 cm (4-4¼ in), mass 7-9 g
Male: Upperparts bright metallic green, tail darker. Flight feathers dark brown edged green. Chin and throat bright metallic green, separated from the bright yellow breast and belly by a blue-purple band. Pectoral tufts yellow. Bill short and slightly decurved (culmen 14 mm).
Female: Similar to the male, except that the entire underparts are yellow.

Similar Species

The Variable Sunbird is similar, but is larger with a longer bill. The male Variable Sunbird has a broader breast band and orange or red pectoral tufts, and the female is greyish brown above.

Female
Photo © by rudydbn
Illovo Glen, Durban, South Africa, June 2004

Distribution

Sub-Saharan Africa
Western Africa: Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland
African Islands: Gulf of Guinea Islands, Bioko (Fernando Po)

Taxonomy

This is one of the four Sunbirds that have recently been moved to the genus Hedydipna from the genus Anthreptes.

Subspecies

Juvenile
Photo © by Alan Manson
Queen Elizabeth Park, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, March 2008
Subspecies garguensis
Photo © by volker sthamer
Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania, September 2018

Nine subspecies are recognised, based on variation in plumage coloration[1]

  • H. c. subcollaris: Senegal to southern Nigeria (Niger River delta)
  • H. c.hypodila:
  • Bioko Island (Gulf of Guinea)

Habitat

Forest, forest edges, dense woodland, and wooded gardens.

Behaviour

Usually in pairs that remain territorial year-round. Highly active; can be inquisitive and confiding, but soon darts off.

Flight

Flight is rapid and direct (rather than the jinking flight typical of most Sunbirds).

Diet

Joins mixed-bird feeding parties. Food includes insects, spiders, snails, nectar, and juices of fruits; more insectivorous than most other Sunbirds. Known to split open corolla tubes that are too long for it short bill, so that it can access nectar.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  3. Avibase

Recommended Citation

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