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Birds of Karnataka: Purple sunbird

Purple sunbird Male
Dr Ashok K R
We don't have humming birds in our country, instead we have various varieties of sunbirds. Purple sunbird is most common variety. 

Scientific name: - Cinnyris asiaticus

Purple sunbird is about the size of a sparrow. It feeds mainly on nectar, to facilitate this they have slightly bent beak. The name purple sunbird is because of male birds color. When we see it from a distance, when we see the bird perched in shadow it appears black in color. When bathed in sun we can appreciate that the head and upper part of the body is purplish, not black. 
ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಓದಲು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕ್ಲಿಕ್ಕಿಸಿ

The female counterpart is definitely dull in appearance! It has a light brownish grey colored back and wings, neck and breast displays yellow and white colors.

Usually they are found in pairs. Their main food, as already mentioned is nectar. They help in pollination. Many a times these birds take support of adjacent leaf or flower to suck up the nectar. Sometimes they flutter their wings at high speeds and drink up the nectar.

During breeding season they become non vegetarians for the sake of their own nourishment and to nourish their kids. They eat up small insects, spiders.

Mid air meals! Purple sunbird female
The birds are quite swift and tests the patience and technique of photographer. Whether we succeed in capturing them in our camera gear is secondary when compared to the happiness these birds instill in us with their relentless refreshing activity.

Click It -
Male Purple sunbird: 
Nectar of crown flower (ekka) is favorite for many of these birds. Tank bund of Soolekere, Mandya is home to many crown flower plants. Lot many purple sunbirds are regular costumer for these plants. The faster shutter speed is a must to capture these beauties. When a bird sits of one flower of a plant, chances are that they will finish sucking nectar from all flowers of that one particular plant. We can decide our self about the framing and stick to one flower with a decent background.  

Female Purple sunbird:
This photo was clicked in Kanva near Ramanagara. The female bird drank few drops of nectar from a dried flower and then it rested on a leaf. It bent towards the spider web and held owner of the web in its beak and flew away to the nesting site to nourish the young....
With spider catch, Purple sunbird female


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