Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus)

The Purple Sunbird is a small Sunbird less than 10 cm long, found throughout India in both urban and rural areas. They can be seen early in the morning hovering around flowers and perched besides them on branches of flowering plants and trees.

They have a down-curved bill with brush-tipped tubular tongues that helps in nectar feeding. The male is glossy metallic bluish to purplish black on the upper parts with the wings appearing dark brown. Females are olive brown above with a yellowish underside. They feed mainly on nectar but also eat fruits and insects especially to feed the young. They are most often found in pairs, though larger populations have often been noted in large parks, gardens and farms.

They breed during monsoons, with the female taking most of the duties in nest building and incubating the eggs. The male assists in feeding the young, but it is clear that the female does most of the work of the pair.

They are known to live for over 20 years in captivity. A long life for a tiny bird!

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