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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 ?
In this study the daily survival probabilities we assumed for each species, except for Collared Sunbird (Hedydipna collaris), were obtained from Table 5 of Stanley and Newmark (2010).
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.
A white-throated sparrow from North America, Himalayan pheasant and a sunbird from south east Asia were all reported last year.
The only pollinator seemed to be the malachite sunbird (Nectarinia famosa).
Sunbirds: a guide to the sunbirds, flowerpeckers, spiderhunters and sugarbirds of the world.
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.
Meanwhile, Group F - the tougher of the two pools - comprises Saudi giants Al Hilal, four-time winners Paykan Tehran of Iran, Bahrain's Darkulaib and last year's third-place finishers, 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.
Dealers have sold 50,604 Sunbirds in the 1994 model year versus 40,275 last year.
The plant manufactures Pontiac Sunbirds, and GM agreed to use the Lordstown plant to produce the new Chevrolet Cobalt following the Cavalier model's discontinuation, allowing the city to retain about 3,000 positions.