Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crimson Sunbird

Aethopyga siparaja
Though they aren't actually related, Sunbirds and Hummingbirds have quite a bit in common. Today's animal, the Crimson Sunbird, is very small in size (only about 4in long), flies incredibly fast, and consumes nectar. They can even hover while feeding, though they usually perch, and are unable to fly backwards. Because Hummingbirds live only in the New World, Sunbirds fill their ecological niche in the Old!

Crimson Sunbirds exhibit sexual dimorphism through their coloration. The common name for the species refers exclusive to the males, who have vibrant red breasts. Females are significantly less colorful, with olive-green feathers covering most of the body.

Crimson Sunbirds are distributed throughout South Asia, and have been divided into fifteen subspecies. Overall they are not a threatened species, due to their extensive range. They are even the National Bird of Singapore!

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Southern Asia
Size : Length 4in (11cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Nectariniidae -- Genus : Aethopyga -- Species : A. siparaja

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