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Purple Sunbird - BirdForum Opus

Breeding male
Photo © by Seyed Babak Mus
Bam town, Iran
Cinnyris asiaticus

Nectarinia asiatica

Identification

Male Purple in eclipse plumage
Photo © by dineshagg
Bharatpur, India, November 2005

10–11 cm (4-4¼ in) long.
The bill is thin and curved downwards. Their tongues are tubular and brush tipped.
Adult breeding male: Mainly glossy purple.
Adult male, eclipse plumage: Yellow-grey upperparts and a yellow breast with a blue central streak extending to the belly.
Female: Yellow-grey upperparts and yellowish under parts, and a faint supercilium.

Distribution

Asia from the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan tropical Africa.

Taxonomy

This is one of the many Sunbirds that have recently been moved to the genus Cinnyris from the genus Nectarinia.

Subspecies

Female
Photo © by Rajiv Lather
Karnal, India

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • C. a. brevirostris:
  • C. a. asiaticus:
  • C. a. intermedius:

Habitat

Forest and cultivation.

Behaviour

Diet

Male
Photo © by mountainflute
Pune, India

Their main source of food is nectar, though they also eat insects, spiders and fruit, particularly mistletoes and grapes.

Breeding

They build a suspended nest in a tree laying 1-3 eggs.

Flight

Flight is fast and direct. They can take nectar whilst hovering, but more usually perch to feed.

Vocalisation

The call is a humming zit zit.
A complex series of calls forms a song, as heard in the clip below.

Listen in an external program Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Faridabad, Haryana, India, Aug.-2016
Recorded in an urban garden.

Gallery

Click images to see larger version

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. Trek Nature
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Nov 2017)

Recommended Citation

External Links


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