(Last Updated on : 20/01/2017)
The Indian Subcontinent provides suitable habitats to various species of birds
for residing and reproducing. Sunbirds are no exception in this regard. Purple Sunbird, Purple-Rumped Sunbird and Loten's Sunbird have been recorded in India. They belong to the kingdom, Animalia
; phylum, Chordata
; class, Aves
; order, Passeriformes
; and family, Nectariniidae
. These sunbirds are described below.
has been traced in the drier parts of northwestern India. It breeds prior to the monsoon
s in northern India. Male and female Purple Sunbirds differ in terms of physical features. The male sunbird is identified as having a glossy metallic bluish to purplish black upper parts. Its wings are dark brown in color. A breeding male displays purplish black underparts, whereas the non- breeding male may display a central streak of black on yellow underparts. Other prominent features of a breeding male are a patch of bright blue on the shoulder and the maroon shine on the feathers of the collar around the neck. The female counterpart is olive brown and yellowish bird. The female has dark eye stripe, a pale supercilium and yellow-colored throat and breast, which becomes pale towards the vent. Outer tail feathers of both male and female birds are tipped in white.
is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent. It has been traced all over southern India and its distribution further stretches to central India, western India (Gujarat
) and eastern India (Assam
). Male and female Sunbirds differ in terms of physical features. The male sunbird has a dark maroon upper body and whitish underparts. Its crown is blue-green in appearance, which glistens at some angles. This bird usually has reddish iris. It shoulder patch is bright green in color, whereas the rump patch is violet or purple in color. Its throat is dark and has a purple or violet colored patch. The breast band is maroon in appearance and the belly is bright yellow. The female counterpart can be described as having olive or brownish upperside, white sides, ashy white neck, yellowish breast and belly and black uppertail coverts.
has been recorded in southern India. Male and female Sunbirds differ in terms of physical features. A noteworthy aspect of the male bird is the hues of blue, green and violet, which causes its head, throat and backs to shine. The bird has a grey-brown belly, browner wings and maroon colored breast band. Its female counterpart has yellow-grey upperparts and yellowish underparts. A distinctive feature of Loten's Sunbird is its long bill, which curves downwards.