Crimsonbacked sunbird

Leptocoma minima

SUBFAMILY

Nectariniinae

TAXONOMY

Cinnyris minima Sykes, 1832, Ghauts, Dukhun, India. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Souimanga menu; German: Däumlingsnektarvogel; Spanish: Nectarina Chica.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

3.5-3.9 in (8.9-9.9 cm); 0.14-0.21 oz (4-6 g). Small bird with brown wings and tail, lime-green forehead to nape, metallic purple throat and rump, reddish back and breast, and black around eye.

DISTRIBUTION

Western India from north of Bombay to hills of southern Kerala. Possibly also occurs in Sri Lanka.

HABITAT

Forest, plantations, and gardens.

BEHAVIOR

While singing squeaky song 5 to 10 seconds long, male twists from side to side. Active, acrobatic when feeding, hovers in front of flowers and feeds from upside-down poses. Defends feeding territories against conspecifics and against flowerpeck-ers. Makes seasonal short-distance movements.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Takes nectar from mistletoes, Erythrina trees, and other flowers. Also feeds on insects and spiders.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Clutch of two white eggs with reddish spots laid in neat pouch nest made of fibers, moss, and cobwebs suspended from bush.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None apart from pollination roles. ‚ô¶

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