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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Purple-rumped Sunbird

The Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica), formerly placed in the genus Nectarinia, is a sunbird that is part of a group of very small Old World passerine birds. It is a common resident breeder in tropical southern Asia in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar. This species is found in a variety of habitats with trees, including scrub and cultivation.

Purple-rumped Sunbirds are tiny at only about 4 inches 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 maroon breast-band, sides of the head and back. The throat and rump are bright purple, and the underparts are yellow flanked with white. There is a bright green shoulder patch. The female and juvenile are duller with an olive-green back, brown wings and yellowish breast. Their call is ptsiee ptsit, ptsiee ptsswit.

Purple-rumped Sunbird feeds largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. It can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perches to feed most of the time. Two to three eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree.

Purple-rumped Sunbird