SUNBIRDs

Order Passeriformes    Family Nectariniidae


This family is comprised of sunbirds and spiderhunters. The family is distributed throughout Africa, southern Asia and just reaches northern Australia. The sunbirds have counterparts in two very distantly related groups: the hummingbirds of the Americas and the honeyeaters of Australia. The resemblances are due to convergent evolution due to the similar nectar-feeding lifestyle. The spiderhunters, of the genus Arachnothera, are distinct in appearance from the other members of the family. They are typically larger than the other sunbirds, with drab brown plumage and long down-curved beaks.

Most sunbirds feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Fruit is also part of the diet of some species. Sunbirds have long thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding. Some species can hover like hummingbirds, but most perch while feeding. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Males are usually quite colorful, partly due to iridescence which can cause them to appear of varied appearance depending on the lighting (thus their name, sunbirds). Females are not iridescencent and thus less colorful. The nests of sunbirds are generally purse-shaped, enclosed, suspended from thin branches with generous use of spiderweb.

Sunbirds and hummingbirds have similar tongues due to convergent evolution. Wikipedia reports the following about hummingbirds; perhaps it also applies to sunbirds." Hummingbirds drink with their tongue by rapidly lapping nectar. Their tongues have tubes which run down their lengths and help the hummingbirds drink the nectar. High-speed photography has revealed that the tubes open down their sides as the tongue goes into the nectar, and then close around the nectar, trapping it so it can be pulled back into the beak.



Genus Aethopyga

Sunbird, Black-throated  Aethopyga saturata  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison in Thailand  2) NatureAtYourBackyard
1) Female 2, 3) Male


Sunbird, Crimson  Aethopyga siparaja  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Johnny Wee  2) S K Yathin - Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India  3) Ravi Vaidyanathan
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Sunbird, Fire-tailed  Aethopyga ignicauda  Found: Asia
John Gouldin Birds of Asia, Vol. 2


Sunbird, Fork-tailed  Aethopyga christinae  Found: Asia
Image by: 1, 2, 3, 4) Charles Lam


Sunbird, Green-tailed  Aethopyga nipalensis  Found: Asia
Image by: Lip Kee Yap - Phulchowki, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal


Sunbird, Handsome  Aethopyga bella  Endemic to the Philippines
Image by: Llimchiu


Sunbird, White-flanked   Aethopyga eximia  Endenmic to Indonesia
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Lip Kee Yap
1, 2) Female  3) Male



Genus Anthreptes

Sunbird, Mouse-brown  Anthreptes gabonicus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Paul Lathbury 2) Steve Garvie


Sunbird, Brown-throated  Anthreptes malacensis  Found: southeast Asia
Image by: NatureAtYourBackyard


Sunbird, Plain-backed
  Anthreptes reichenowi  Found: Africa
Image by: Steve Garvie



Genus Chalcomitra
Sometimes included in Genus Nectarinia

Sunbird, Amethyst also Black Sunbird Chalcomitra amethystina also Nectarinia amethystina  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Mike Goulding   3) Dick Daniels - South Africa
1) Female  2, 3) Male


Sunbrid, Green-throated  Chalcomitra rubescens  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) Francesco Veronesi - Kenya
1) Female  2, 3) Male


Sunbird, Hunter's  Chalcomitra hunteri  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - Hell’s Gate National Park, Kenya   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) Dick - Nairobi National Park, Kenya
1, 2) Female - Hell’s Gate National Park    3 - 8) Male - Nairobi National Park


Sunbird, Scarlet-chested  Chalcomitra senegalensis also Nectarinia senegalensis  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 5) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels near Kruger National Park, South Africa    6) Cristiano Crolle - Windhoek Namibia   7) Dick - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya




Genus Cinnyris
Sometimes included in Genus Nectarinia

Sunbird, Beautiful  Cinnyris pulchellus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Gisela Braun - Gambia  2) Kevin


Sunbird, Eastern Double-collared Cinnyris mediocris  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) Peter Steward - Kenya  4)  Francesco Veronesi - Kenya


Sunbird, Greater Double-collared  Cinnyris afer  Found: South Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2, 3) Dick Daniels - near Kruger National Park


Sunbird, Loveridge's  Cinnyris loveridgei  Found: Tanzania
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya
1) Male


Sunbird, Red-chested  Cinnyris erythrocercus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Tom Tarrant
1) Female  2, 3) Male


Sunbird, Southern Double-collared also Lesser Double-collared Sunbird   Cinnyris chalybeus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Lip Kee Yap    4) Dick Daniels - Plettenberg Bay, South Africa   5) Cristiano Crolle - Kirstenbosch Garden, South Africa
1) Female  2 - 5) Male


Sunbird, Loten's  Cinnyris lotenius  Found: India, Sri Lanka
Image by: 1) Gangadharan   2) Hafiz Issadeen in Dharga Town, Sri Lanka  3) William Jardine -


Sunbird, Marico also Mariqua Sunbird  Cinnyris mariquensis Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Hans Hillewaert - Tsumeb, Namibia  3) Jerry Oldenettel - Namibia  4) Ian White
1, 2, 3) Female  4) Male


Sunbird, Madagascar
  also  Malagasy Green Sunbird  Cinnyris notatus  Found: Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte
Image by: 1, 2) Kristian Svensson


Sunbird, Olive-backed Found: southern Asia, Australia
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - Australia  2, 4) Lip Kee Yap - Singapore  3, 5) John Tasirin - Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
1) Female



Sunbird, Purple  Cinnyris asiatica  Found: Asia
Image by: 1, 2) J M Garg in Kolkata, West Bengal, India
1) Nonbreeding 2) Breeding male


Sunbird, Purple-banded  Cinnyris bifasciatus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Alan Manson - South Africa  2) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya
1) Breeding male  2) nonbreeding male


Sunbird, Regal  Cinnyris regia  Found: Africa
Image by: Aviceda


Sunbird, Souimanga  Cinnyris souimanga  Found: Madagascar, the Aldabra Group, Glorioso Islands
The breeding male Souimanga Sunbird has metalic green back, head, throat; blackish breast; yellow belly; brown wings, tail. Female has gray-brown upperparts; dull yellow belly; gray throat, breast.
Image by: 1) Goran Bength  2) Tom Junek
1) Female  2) Male


Sunbird, Variable Cinnyris venustus   Found: Africa
Image by: 1,  2,  6,  7,  8) Dick Daniels -Tanzania   3, 4, 9, 10) Kenya   5) Joseph Mochoge - Eburu Kenya
1 - 5) Female  6 - 10) Male



Sunbird, White-breasted also White-bellied Sunbird  Cinnyris talatala  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Derek Keats at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, South Africa    2) Lip Kee Yap Kwa Madala, Mpumalanga, South Africa 3) Derek Keats


Genus Deleornis
Sometimes included in Anthreptes

Sunbird, Scarlet-tufted Deleornis fraseri  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Dick Daniels - Tanzania



Genus Hedydipna

Sunbird, Collared  Hedydipna collaris  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Tom Tarrant  2) Alan Manson



Genus Leptocoma


Sunbird, Purple-rumped  Leptocoma zeylonica   Found: India
Image by: 1, 2, 3) J M Garg - India


Sunbird, Purple-throated  Leptocoma sperata   Found: India
Image by: 1, 2) Lip Kee Yap



Genus Nectarinia

Sunbird, Bronze  Nectarinia kilimensis  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 4) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Peter Steward - Kenya    3) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya  5, 6) Steve Garvie  
1, 2) Female 3) Juvenile male  4, 5, 6) Male



Sunbird, Golden-winged  Nectarinia reichenowi  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Steve Garvie  2) Tom Tarrant
1) Male


Sunbird, Green-headed  Nectarinia verticalis  Found: Africa
Image by: Tom Tarrant


Sunbird, Malachite Nectarinia famosa   Found: Africa
Image by:   1) Claude Gibne  2)  Dick Daniels 3) Stig Nygaard   4) Steve Garvie   5) Craig Adam - South Africa
1) Male and Female  2, 3) Female  4, 5) Male



Sunbird, Mouse-coloured   Nectarinia veroxii    Found: Africa
Sometimes include in genus Cyanomitra.
Image by Dick Daniels - Tanzania


Sunbird, Olive  also  Eastern Olive Sunbird  Nectarinia olivacea  Found: Africa
Sometimes include in genus Cyanomitra.
Image by: Alan Manson


Sunbird, Orange-breasted   Nectarinia violacea  Found: South Africa
Sometimes include in genus Anthobaphes.
Image by: 1) Craig Adam - South Africa  2, 3) Derek Keats
1) Female  2, 3) Male


Sunbird, Tacazze  Nectarinia tacazze  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) Veli Pohjonen - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



Genus Arachnothera

Spiderhunter, Streaked  Arachnothera magna  Found: Asia
Image by: NatureAtYourBackyard



FLOWERPECKERs

Order Passeriformes    Family Dicaeidae


The family of flowerpeckers is similar to the Sunbirds, and probably closely related. They are found in tropical southern Asia and Australasia. They are often dull in color, although in several species the males have brightly patterned crimson or glossy-black plumage.

Flowerpeckers are stout birds, with short necks and legs. These are small birds ranging from the 10-18 cm. Flowerpeckers have short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues. The latter features reflect the importance of nectar in the diet of many species.. They also take berries, spiders and insects.[3]Many species eat mistletoes berries.



Genus Dicaeum

Flowerpecker, Blood-breasted  Dicaeum sanguinolentum  Found: Indonesia
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Lip Kee Yap - Java, Indonesia


Flowerpecker, Buzzing  Dicaeum hypoleucum  Endemic to the Philippines
Image by: Joseph Smit in the Report on voyage of H.M.S. Challenger


Flowerpecker, Fire-breasted  Dicaeum ignipectus  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Lip Kee Yap in Pokhara, Nepal
 

Flowerpecker, Orange-bellied  Dicaeum trigonostigma  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Lip Kee Yap  2) NatureAtYourBackyard


Flowerpecker, Plain  Dicaeum concolors  Found: Asia
Image by:  1,  2) Lip Kee Yap  3) Dick Daniels at the North Carolina Zoo
3) This is probablly a juvenile Plain Flowepecker. However, the distinct white eye-ring is disconcerting!


Flowerpecker, Red-capped  Dicaeum geelvinkianum Found: New Guinea
1) Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans- Catalogue of the birds in the British Museum, Vol 10


Flowerpecker, Scarlet-backed  Dicaeum cruentatum  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Doug Janson   2, 3) NatureAtYourBackyard
1, 2) Male  3) Female


Flowerpecker, Thick-billed  Dicaeum agile  Found: Asia
Image by: 1, 2) J M Garg  3) JJ Harrison in Thailand


Mistletoebird  Dicaeum hirundinaceum  Found: Australia
Image by: 1) Aviceda  2) David Cook - Willandra National Park, NSW, Australia



Genus Prionochilus

Flowerpecker, Yellow-breasted  Prionochilus maculatus  Found: Asia
Image by: 1,   2) Lip Kee Yap





SUGARBIRDs

Order Passeriformes    Family Promeropidae - 1 genus

The two species of sugarbirds are restricted entirely to southern Africa. They have few if any close relatives. In general appearance as well as habits they resemble large long-tailed sunbirds. Also, their tongues are similar to those of honeyeaters, but this is because of convergent evolution. They have brownish plumage, the long downcurved bill typical of passerine nectar feeders, and long tail feathers.

Nectar from protea bushes provide most of the energy these species require, and they are considered significant pollinators of the genus. The birds' diet is supplemented by insects attracted to the protea flowers.


Genus Modulatrix

Spot-throat  Modulatrix stictigula  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya



Genus Promerops

Sugarbird, Cape  Promerops cafer    Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Craig Adam - Hermanus, South Africa  2) DerekKeats  3, 4) Sandy Cole - Hermanus, South Africa 


Sugarbird, Gurney's  Promerops gurneyi  Found: southern Africa
Image by: 1) Alan Manson  2) Patty McGann







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