Uniqueness of Loten's Sunbird
The long bill of Loten's Sunbird distinguishes from the similar purple sunbird that is found in the same areas and also tends to hover at flowers.
Feeding of Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbird feeds on small insects and builds characteristic hanging nests.
Description of Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbird is named after a colonial Dutch governor of Ceylon, Joan Gideon Loten. The name of the bird commemorates Joan Gideon Loten, the Dutch governor to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) who commissioned the artist Pieter Cornelis de Bevere to illustrate the natural history of the region from living and collected specimens
Structure of Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbirds are small in nature. It is only 12-13 cm long. The long bill separates this from the syntopic purple sunbird. The wings are browner and the maroon breast band is visible on the male under good lighting conditions. The males have pectoral tufts of yellow mixed with crimson that are used in displays. The adult male is mainly glossy purple with a grey-brown belly. The female has yellow-grey upperparts and yellowish under parts, but lacks Purple's faint supercilium.
Call of Loten's Sunbird
The call of Loten's Sunbird is distinctive "buzzy zwick zwick’ and they are also very active often bobbing their head while foraging. The song of the male is a long repeated wue-wue-wue... with the last notes accelerated
Bill of Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbird has long down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, are adaptations to their nectar feeding. The bill length vary across populations with the longest bills are found on the east of Peninsular India and in Sri Lanka.
Male Plumage of Loten's Sunbird
The male Loten's Sunbird in winter has an eclipse plumage with a yellowish underside resembling that of the female but having a broad central streak of dark metallic violet from the chin to the belly.
Concentration of Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbird is found only in peninsular India and Sri Lanka. The main region is along the Western Ghats Mountain Range in India and into the Southern Peninsula of the Indian states. There are scattered records from central India and into the northern Eastern Ghats Mountain Range in India north until Odisha.
Behaviour of Loten's Sunbird
Loten's Sunbird is resident and no seasonal movements are known. While foraging for nectar they hover at flowers a lot unlike the purple sunbirds that prefers to perch beside flowers. Like other sunbirds, they also feed on small insects and spiders.
Breeding of Loten's Sunbird
The breeding season of Loten's Sunbird is from November to March in India, February to May in Sri Lanka.
Nests of Loten's Sunbird
The nest of Loten's Sunbird is built by the female which may however be accompanied by the male.
Eggs of Loten's Sunbird
The two eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. The eggs are incubated only by the female for about 15 days. The nest is a bag of webs, bark and caterpillar frass. The nest is built by the female and young are fed by both parents. Nests may sometimes be reused for a second brood. It often builds its nest within the nests of "social spiders".
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