Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Aethopyga siparaja (Raffles, 1822)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Nectariniidae
Genus:Aethopyga
Species:A. siparaja
Common Names:Crimson Sunbird
Status:Common resident

Description

The Crimson Sunbird is informally nominated by nature lovers as the national bird of Singapore. The male of this beautiful bird is a breath-taking sight to behold in the forest. The forehead and tail are a shining purple; the breast, body and inner wing are bright crimson; the rump is yellow, and it has a metallic purple ‘moustache’.

The plumage of the adult and juvenile can be viewed HERE.

Read more about the Passeriformes order.
Read more about the Nectariniidae family.

Distribution

This species ranges from the Indian subcontinent, south China to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, to Sumatra, Riau, Borneo, Sulawesi and the Philippines.

Localities

Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Pasir Ris Park, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, Sentosa, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Locality Map

Diet

As with all sunbirds, it's diet consists of mainly nectar from flowers that it harvests with the help of its long tongue that extends well beyond its curved bill. It has the capacity of hovering above flowers if there is no perch nearby as from flowers of Saraca and Water Canna (Thalia sp.). Other plants it visits for nectar include Snakeweed (Stachytarpheta mutabilis), Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior), Heliconias (Heliconia spp.), Mempat (Cratoxylum formosum), Noni (Morinda citrifolia) and Sea Apple (Syzygium grande). It has been known to rob nectar from flowers of Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and Manihot (Manihot esculenta). It also takes fruits of mistletoes like Dendrophthoe pentandra.

It is also an insectivore, taking various insects, even to the extent of stealing trapped insects fron spider webs.

Life Cycle

2–3 are laid. No other records.

References

Wang, L. K. 2011. Sunbirds. Pp. 472. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L. K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179.

Related Images

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