Collared sunbird

Hedydipna collaris

SUBFAMILY

Nectariniinae

TAXONOMY

Cinnyris collaris Vieillot, 1819, Gamtoos River, Cape Province, South Africa. Nine subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Soiumanga a collier; German: Waldnektarvogel; Spanish: Nectarina Acollarada.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

3.9-4.1 in (10-10.5 cm); male 0.19-0.39 oz (5.3-11.0 g); female 0.19-0.34 oz (5.4-9.7 g). Small and short-billed with green head to back, yellow belly with purplish dark stripe across breast.

DISTRIBUTION

H. c. collaris: eastern Cape Province to southern Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa; H. c. djamdjamensis: southwestern Ethiopia; H. c. elachior: coastal and inland Kenya, coastal Tanzania, Sudan and Somalia and Zanzibar; H. c. garguensis: western Kenya, southern Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, western Tanzania, Zambia, Angola; H. c. hypodila: Bioko, Equatorial Guinea; H. c. somereni: from southeastern Nigeria to northwestern Angola, northern Democratic Republic of the Congo to southwestern Sudan, west of the River Nile; H. c. subcollaris: Senegal to the delta of the River Niger, Nigeria; H. c. zambe-siana: Angola to southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, southwestern Tanzania, Zanzibar, Malawi, Mozambique, and Botswana; H. c. zuluensis: northeastern Kwazulu-Natal, eastern Swaziland, southern Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

HABITAT

Varied. Occurs in forests, plantations, and swamps, but most common in open habitats such as clearings, savanna, thickets, and gardens.

BEHAVIOR

Commonly a member of mixed-species parties with other sunbirds, white-eyes, and warblers. Feeds acrobatically, and seen "anting."

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages in low bushes but also up to 82 ft (25 m) high in forest canopy. Takes insects like a warbler does, and by aerial captures. Feeds mostly on insects, but also eats small spiders, snails, seeds, and fruits, and probes wide range of flowers for nectar.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Males defend territories with short whistling song and chase other males while making sounds with wing-flicks. May be polyandrous. Regular host of Klaas's cuckoo (Chrysococcyx klaas). Nest pear-shaped, made of grass, dead leaves, and cobwebs, sometimes decorated with lichen, bark, or flowers. Clutch one to four eggs with white background marked with various shades of grays and browns.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened; common and widespread.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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