Greenheaded sunbird

Cyanomitra verticalis

SUBFAMILY

Nectariniinae

TAXONOMY

Certhia verticalis Linnaeus, 1790, Senegal. Four subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Green-headed olive sunbird, olive-backed sunbird; French: Souimanga à tête verte; German: GrünkopfNektarvogel; Spanish: Nectarina de Cabeza Verde.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.1-5.7 in (13-14.5 cm); male 0.34-0.55 oz (9.7-15.5 g), female 0.38-0.55 oz (10.7-15.5 g). Long bill with shorter tail; head is actually metallic blue. Olive upperparts with gray breast to un-dertail.

DISTRIBUTION

C. v. boehndorfi: southern Cameroon through inland areas to Angola; C. v. cyanocephala: coasts from mainland Equatorial Guinea to northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo; C. v. verticalis: Senegal to Nigeria; C. v. viridisplendens: southern Sudan and northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo, east to Uganda and northwest Kenya, western Tanzania, northern Malawi, and northeastern Zambia.

HABITAT

Forests and well-wooded savanna, coastal habitats, plantations, and gardens.

BEHAVIOR

Usually forages high in canopy, sometimes in mixed-species flocks. Males may congregate in fruiting trees and defend feeding territories with aggressive displays, including showing pectoral tufts.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Searches leaves and tree bark for insects and also catches insects in flight. Eats small fruits and seeds and oil-palm sap, as well as nectar from wide variety of flowers.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Territorial. Nest globular, made of grass, bark, and fibers woven with cobwebs. Suspended, often over water, and some with long (1.6 ft; 0.5 m) streamers below base. Clutch of two white or pink eggs with dark dots. Both parents feed young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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