The purple sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) is a small bird in the sunbird family found mainly in South and Southeast Asia, but extending west into parts of the Arabian peninsula. Like other sunbirds, they feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young.
The breeding male is a metallic blue and purple overall with maroon feathers on the breast. They are found in gardens, cultivated areas, and forests.
They have a fast and direct flight and can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but often perch at the base of flowers. The males can appear all black in harsh sunlight, but the purple iridescence is visible on closer observation or under good light conditions. They are important pollinators of some plant species.
We were undergoing basic course on ornithology being conducted by the Ela Foundation and, as part of the course, there was a field trip being organised at Pinguri (Maharasthra). During the field trip, I noticed a metallic-blue and purple sunbird, which I captured in my frame.
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Clare Disano • Editor