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Vigors's Sunbird

From Opus

Photo by James WilliamsCandolim, Goa, India, March 2009
Photo by James Williams
Candolim, Goa, India, March 2009

Alternative name: Western Crimson Sunbird

Aethopyga vigorsii


[edit] Identification

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 with yellow streaks and a maroon back. The rump is yellow and the belly is olive. The female has a dark olive-green back, yellowish breast and white tips to the outer tail feathers.

[edit] Similar species

Generally darker and bigger-billed than Crimson Sunbird.

[edit] Distribution

Endemic to southwest India (Western Ghats from Kerala north to Narbada River)

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.
It was formerly included in Crimson Sunbird.

[edit] Habitat

Found in forest, scrub and gardens below 1,800.

[edit] Behaviour

Feeds on nectar, insects and spiders.
Two eggs or three eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. 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.

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