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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 ?
We are excited that CPI has chosen Sunbird Power IQ as their tool of choice for Data Center Infrastructure Management," said Herman Chan, President of Sunbird Software.
Standard Bank's head of Personal and Business Banking, Margaret Kubwalo-Chaika, said that the partnership would offer bank customers access to a wide range of discounted hospitality services offered by Sunbird Hotels and other Hotel Stay partners worldwide.
Considering the 8 pollination states, the most frequent transitions are from bee to sunbird pollination (13.
Another said: "Very territorial call from the Scarlet Chested Sunbird - protecting its nest".
After hearing a particularly protective bird he said: "Very territorial call from the Scarlet Chested Sunbird - protecting its nest.
uk BED-DRESSED STRIPES [bar] For a summer cocktail of colour, try blending Joules' Sunbird floral bedlinen with Joules' Deckchair Stripe and bask in a sea of brights, before settling down for a good night's sleep.
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Australian yacht broker Yoti has formed a strategic partnership with European-based yacht sales and service provider Sunbird offering its clients a complete solution for purchasing and launching a yacht in Europe.
Among other candidates for the national title defeated by the Hoopoe were the Palestine Sunbird, whose English name was deemed politically problematic, and the Bulbul, which in Hebrew also serves as slang for penis.