Plainthroated sunbird

Anthreptes malacensis

SUBFAMILY

Nectariniinae

TAXONOMY

Certhia malacensis Scopoli, 1786, Malacca. Seventeen subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Brown-throated sunbird, gray-throated sunbird; French: Souimanga á gorge brune; German: BraunkehlNektarvogel; Spanish: Nectarina de Garganta Descolorida.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.5 in (14 cm); 0.26-0.48 oz (7.4-13.5 g). Metallic green from head to back with dark brown cheek, throat, and wings; purplish tail and yellow underparts.

DISTRIBUTION

Two main groups of subspecies. The malacensis group includes 15 subspecies occurring in various islands of the west and southwest Philippines, Borneo, the Celebes, Myanmar, Indochina, the Malay Peninsula, Thailand, and Indonesia. The gri-seigularis group includes two subspecies found in the eastern and northern Philippines.

HABITAT

Forest, woodland, mangroves, bamboos, coastal vegetation, swamps, coconut groves, and gardens from sea level up to 3,900 ft (1,200 m).

Anthreptes malacensis I Resident

BEHAVIOR

Aggressive toward other small birds. Often in low bushes but feeds at all heights, sometimes in large groups or in mixed-species parties.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds on nectar of citrus, mistletoes, and other flowers. Also takes fruits, insects, and spiders.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Males sing from prominent perches. Two eggs laid in pear-shaped nest suspended 3.3-42.6 ft (1-13 m) up, made of grass, plant fibers, and cobwebs. Slivers of bark on outside, lined with tree-cotton or moss. Young fledge two weeks after hatching.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Pollinates Nicolaia elatior, the buds of which are used as spices. ♦

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