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common name for tropical, Old World birds, including more than one hundred species in the family Nectariniidae. Like the unrelated New World hummingbirds, to which sunbirds are often compared, sunbirds have long and slender, highly curved bills, tube-shaped tongues, and feed primarily on nectar and small insects. However, they perch when feeding rather than hovering as the hummingbirds do. They are typically small birds, with the largest, the great sunbird (Dreptes thomensis) reaching a maximum length of 8 1-2 in. (22 cm), and are native to forest and brush throughout Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. Some common species are the variable sunbird (Cinnyris venustus), the purple sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica), and the golden-winged sunbird (N. reichenowi). The males of most species are brightly colored, with metallic, sometimes velvety, plumage. Out of breeding season, the males tend to take on the duller female plumage. Sunbirds may change their feeding grounds during the nonbreeding season but are not particularly migratory. They are not very gregarious, and males tend to be aggressive, especially during breeding season. Sunbirds build a characteristic purselike, hanging nest, into which the female deposits her two, rarely three, white or pale blue, variously spotted or striped eggs. Two unrelated Madagascan species in the genus Neodrepenis are known as false sunbirds, and are easily confused with the sunbirds, which they resemble in habits, habitat, diet, and somewhat in appearance. They are, however, slenderer and shorter-legged, with more markedly down-curved bills. The related spider hunters, of the genus Arachnothera, are members of the true sunbird family and are found in Asia. They lack the metallic coloration of their sunbird relatives, and the sexes are more alike, both being dull greens, browns, or yellows. Spider hunters (e.g., the little spider hunter, A. longirostris) feed largely on insects and spiders. Their singular cup-shaped nest is built on the bottom of a broad leaf and attached firmly by cobwebs and plant fibers, which the bird sews and knots together. Both sexes build the nest and share incubation of the two to three eggs laid per clutch. Sunbirds and their relatives are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Nectariniidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
3), and a second in which the states 'bird' and 'insect' were each subdivided into three separate states: hummingbirds, sunbirds, and honeyeaters (meliphagid); and bee, beetle and moth respectively.
Sunbirds won the next six points on the trot to go 19-16 up and that momentum carried on to the end.
Running a crisp offense, the Sunbirds of the Golden State Athletic Conference took the lead for good less than four minutes into the game on a 3-pointer by 6-foot-5 forward Adrian Sanchez, who went on to torch the Trojans for 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting.
Tragopan pheasants from the Himalayas, sunbirds and African weaverbirds were also seen having escaped from wildlife parks, zoos or private collections.
Male sunbirds were more than twice as likely to visit a plant with a perch and then to stay there four times as long as they would visit and stay at a perchless plant, the researchers report in the May 5 Nature.
A good to excellent representation is found in monarchs, sunbirds and flowerpeckers, most of which are higher canopy species, and apparently less sensitive to both logging and inundation.
The fight for a chance to play Japan's Suntory Sunbirds in the fifth sixth place play-off witnessed Darkulaib winning the first two sets quite comfortably.
They go into the quarter-finals where they have been placed in a group that features Paykan, Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal and Japan's Suntory Sunbirds.
London, Apr 14 (ANI): Just like American hummingbirds, African sunbirds have also learnt to hover around a flower to collect nectar, and scientists have found that the tree tobacco plant prompts the birds' ability to hang around.
The Heat will join the Chicago Bandits, New England Riptide, New York/New Jersey Juggernaut, Sacramento Sunbirds, Akron Racers and Texas Thunder in the WPSL.
Sunbirds are residents of the southwest who head their RV's north to escape the heat of their winter desert homes and believes Sunshine Ridge, only a one or two day drive, will be an attractive choice for these motorhomers.
They defeated Japan's Suntory Sunbirds 26-24, 25-19, 25-13 to stay on track for an unprecedented fourth straight title in the prestigious annual competition.