Bird Families

Purple (purple) sunflower Cinnyris (Nectarinia) asiaticus


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Description and habitat

Purple, or purple sunbirds (Cinnyris (Nectarinia) asiaticus) distributed in Iran, India, Sri Lanka and Indochina. They inhabit thickets of thorny bushes in river floodplains and on forest edges. These sunbirds can be found in the mountains at an altitude of up to 3000 m, as well as in densely populated anthropogenic areas. The body length of an adult bird is 10 cm.

In most of their range, purple sunbirds make seasonal migrations. In mountainous areas, in the spring they rise higher into the mountains, and in the winter they descend into the valleys. These birds always keep on flowering plants, from the flowers of which they suck nectar.

Pollination of plants

For some plant species, sunbirds are important pollinators. Purple sunbirds are extremely agile and agile in flight, which gives them the ability to catch flying insects right in the air - just like flycatchers usually do. Sometimes several sunbirds gather together to feast on swarming mosquitoes.


During singing and mating demonstrations, the male slightly pushes his wings to the side in order to display the tufts of bright yellow feathers on the sides of the chest. These bundles are present in many species of sunbirds, but in a calm state they are covered by the folds of the wings. After the end of reproduction, males of the purple sunbird molt and “put on” a dimmer outfit.

The female builds a nest from plant fibers, bark, lichens and cobwebs. Sometimes construction takes up to 10 days. Often the nest is located in the thicket of thorny bushes, but sometimes it can appear in unused premises. Clutch consists of 2 eggs; female incubates them for 15-17 days. Both parents feed the chicks. There are cases when in captivity purple sunbirds lived up to 20 years.

Standard description:

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