admin on August 8th, 2008
Mandai Orchid Garden, Singapore

Mandai Orchid Garden, Singapore

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Nectariniidae
Genus: Aethopyga
Species: A. siparaja

Binomial name: Aethopyga siparaja
(Raffles, 1822)

The Crimson Sunbird, Aethopyga siparaja, is a sunbird. The sunbirds are a group of very small Old World passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time.

Crimson Sunbird is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India to Indonesia and the Philippines. Two eggs or three eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. This species is found in forest and cultivation.

Crimson Sunbirds are tiny, only 11cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.

The adult male has a crimson breast and maroon back. The rump is yellow and the belly is olive. The female has an olive-green back, yellowish breast and white tips to the outer tail feathers.

In most of the range, males have a long green-blue tail, but A.s. nicobarica of the Nicobar Islands and the former subspecies A. vigorsii (Western Crimson Sunbird) of the Western Ghats of India lack the long central tail feathers. The call is chee-cheewee.

The Crimson Sunbird is the national bird of the Republic of Singapore.

I took this bird’s photos in Mandai Orchid Garden, it’s many there, but they’re quite active, and I was lucky at that time to get the photo when they were flying to suck the nectar. At that time, it’s almost rained, then that bird just appeared about 3 meters, I was using 200mm lens. After took that photo, I was running to avoid the rain, put my camera inside my t-shirt and run. But lucky I got that moment.
You can easily go to Mandai Orchid Garden, it’s 1 bus stop from Singapore zoo. Take the MRT to Ang Mo Kio Station (NS16), then board SBS bus 138.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimson_Sunbird

Photo Gallery: Crimson Sunbird