Monday, September 5, 2011


Of all the birds that come to my yard, the sunbirds have been most elusive. I hear them calling as loud as ever but any slight movement from stealthy old camera-carrying me has them flying off like greased lightning. So thank God for the pentas that has made it possible for me to take these shots. If you look at the collage, you'll see the same bird in every picture. The one in the centre was taken through the window pane from the room that looks out to some of my plants. That's where they come to feed often.

Comparing Google images I've learned that the one on the collage is a female Purple Sunbird. Where is the colour purple was the first thought that came to my mind. Well, like the hummingbirds, the males have iridescent colours whereas the females are plainer. I have seen the purple sunbird in other parts of the city but never in my garden. The female, as you can see is olive above and yellow on the underside.

Going by the dark colour, this one could well be a male. I found it perched on a thin branch of one of my guava trees.

Here are some facts from Wiki. Sunbirds are small passerine birds belonging to the family Nectariniidae. The family is distributed throughout Afrca, southern Asia, and just reaches northern Australia. They feed mainly on nectar but also take insects and spiders when feeding their young. Flower tubes that bar access to nectar are simply punctured at the base near the nectaries. Fruit is part of the diet of some species. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings. You can find more info here and here.

Here's another attempt by me to capture these beautiful birds through the window pane on my camera phone. If you click on the picture you'll see the yellow underside. See how small the sunbird is! The thin stem only swayed a wee bit. As I type , I can hear their vociferous voices outside. Maybe I'll get a better shot this time?!;)


EG Wow said...

Sunbird! I have never heard of this bird before!

Anita Kumar said...

Quite a few pictures, you got there. I've seen the bird at our place just once. And I didn't have my camera handy of course. But in greener parts of the city, I've seen the male, with it's brilliant purple shimmering. Didn't know that the males were purple only. Learnt that tid bit only today.

lotusleaf said...

asunbirds are regular visitors of my garden too. I like their busy chatter in the morning. I have never seen the lacewing butterflies you showed in your earlier post. They are beautiful! BTW, your collages are very good!