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Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) | by Mark Carmody
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Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)

Shorebirds of Ireland and Freshwater Birds of Ireland with Jim Wilson.


The Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) is a small sunbird. Like other sunbirds they feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. They have a fast and direct flight and can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird but often perch at the base of flowers. Less than 10 cm long they have a down-curve bill with brush-tipped tubular tongues that aid in nectar feeding. The male is glossy metallic purplish black on the upper parts with the wings appearing dark brown. The breeding male has the underparts also of the same purplish black. Females are olive above and yellowish below.


The species is distributed widely from West Asia through the Indian Subcontinent and into Southeast Asia. They are resident birds in most parts of their range and do not move large distances.These birds are very vociferous and will call and will join to mob owls or other predators. The song is rapid rattle followed by ringing, metallic notes. (wikipedia)


Taken in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Very difficult to photograph as they tended to stick to the high canopy. Usually announced their presence by the beautiful song and call. Simply stunning birds. I was mesmerised by them.

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Taken on April 9, 2013