Beautiful Yellow Eclipse: Purple sunbird male in it’s eclipse plumage!
If you were expecting an image of the lunar eclipse that just passed by, sorry :). I am referring to this Purple sunbird male in it’s eclipse plumage. Ok, so want to know what this eclipse plumage is? Who this Purple sunbird is? Read on..
Eclipse plumage by definition is a seasonal plumage, that occurs in certain birds after the breeding plumage and before the winter plumage (if that exists) almost always characterised by dull coloration.
Yes this bird is indeed purple in colour otherwise and hence the name purple sunbird. This tiny fellow’s size is a maximum of 4 inches, however they are believed to have a lifespan in excess of 20 years (source: http://genomics.senescence.info).
Sunbirds are fairly common across the Indian Subcontinent and several other regions across the world, this is largely because they are fairly resistant to changes in habitat, thankfully.
Just take a walk to a nearby park or a garden early morning and you are sure to spot at least a few sunbirds. If you happen to come across their nest, just hide at a safe distance and you are sure to be shocked witnessing how well these tiny parents mob likely predatory birds. Though these birds are tiny, you will rarely miss their call (embedded below for reference – source: Xeno canto).
As you would have already thought, sunbirds are believed to be related to humming birds found in the west. What stands out is their bill (beak), which is downward-curved as you would see the one in this image. This image also explains why they have bill shaped like this? No prizes for guessing, that is because they feed largely on nectar. They also eat insects sometimes, especially to feed their young ones with the much needed protein.
Isn’t nature’s creation so amazing? Everything here is for a reason, let us join hands respecting this and make our planet a better place for coexistence.