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Nile Valley Sunbird

From Opus

Male in breeding plumagePhoto by ammadouxJeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 2010
Male in breeding plumage
Photo by ammadoux
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 2010
Hedydipna metallica

Anthreptes metallicus


[edit] Identification

Male in eclipse plumagePhoto by IngoCrocodile Island, Luxor, Egypt
Male in eclipse plumage
Photo by Ingo
Crocodile Island, Luxor, Egypt

Male 17 cm(6¾ in), female 9 cm (3½ in)

  • Decurved bill

Male breeding: 5 cm tail

  • Fork shape tail
  • Metallic dark green head with dark green
  • Blue-violet back
  • Yellow underparts


  • Loses long tail
  • Plumage similar to female, but has some black patches (lacking in female)


  • Yellow-brown upper parts
  • Less vibrant yellow belly

[edit] Distribution

Breeds from Egypt (primarily the Nile Valley) to Sudan, northeastern South Sudan, Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, Djibouti, northwestern Somalia, southwestern Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and southwestern Oman; nonbreeding visitor to northern Egypt (Cairo) and northern eastern Somalia.

[edit] Taxonomy

FemalePhoto by ammadouxJeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 2010
Photo by ammadoux
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 2010

This is a monotypic species[1].

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

[edit] Habitat

A familiar bird in the gardens of Jeddah and Taif, Khmis mushayt and Abha western Saudi Arabia. In dry acacia scrubs in wadies and plane of eastern cost of the red sea and at juniper woodlands at the high altitude (2500m) mountens of Asir and Yemen.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on nectar and arthropods.

[edit] Vocalisation

JuvenilePhoto by WorldInFocusTaif, Saudi Arabia, February 2018
Photo by WorldInFocus
Taif, Saudi Arabia, February 2018

Starting from December both the male and female start to announce there presence with calls far from Twitter, but rather similar to little kittens calls. They keep on sending these calls which tend to get higher during the day as the sun gets higher in the sky, until the male complete its change to the breeding plumage, which is usually on the beginning of March, but this differs on each individual, some may reach this plumage earlier (two weeks)

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Feb 2018)

[edit] External Links


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