Friday, July 11, 2008

Nesting of Purple-Rumped Sunbird - Part I

Contributed by : Ulhas Rane
Location : Bangalore

In our garden at RMV Extn (Dollars' Colony) in North Bangalore, Easter Lilies had announced the arrival of Easter season much in advance (about 10 days) by most wonderful / colourful flowers."

"A few days before the Easter we had heard constant, excited chirping of Purple-rumped Subiirds around our house. However we did not give much attention since Sunbirds are always around in our garden, sometimes even in large (8 to 10) flocks feeding on nectar in variety of flowers. On 18 March, my wife - Renee came excitedly to tell me about a surprise! While I was guessing about some new flower, bird or Bulbul nest, she directed me towards the Sandal (Chandan) tree on the northside garden of our house. While exploring the tree which had just started fruiting, suddenly we heard Subirds and saw a female Purple-rumped sunbird dashing to a hanging pouch like nest with something in her beak. So Renee's surprise find for me was the nest of Purple-rumped Sunbird on our Sandal tree. Initially we thought that the female was feeding the chicks, however on closer observations we realised that nest decoration (both interior and exterior) was in progress. The female was busy doing this while colourful male would hop from branches to branches singing excitedly. It was interesting to watch the nest being decorated with cobwebs, lichens, seeds of Yellw Dolly, bark pieces and perhaps even caterpillar droppings! The typical canopy over the entrance is not properly done and is there just like a small, half done projection."

"Exactly on Easter day, we noticed the female sitting in the nest with her tiny head and long beak protruding out from the side entrance of the nest. Obviously she had laid eggs and was incubating them while the male was hanging around singing with excitement on the Sandal tree. We were so delighted to have this unique gift of Easter Eggs in our garden that we celebrated this Easter like never before! It is 15 days now and incubation is still on. We are now very eager to experience the new arrival of this Spring i.e. the Sunbird babies. In fact, we are so watchful now that the other day we almost chased away a Crowpheasant which came on our Thumbergia climber in the front (east) garden. Crowpheasants are known to predate on eggs and chicks."

"Since the last 9 years we had nests of Redvented and Redwhiskered Bulbuls in our garden. We also have Tailor birds, Mynas, Doves, Kites nesting in our immediate surroundings. We had earlier seen unsucceful / aborted attempt of Sunbird nesting on a Hibiscus bush in our garden. So this is the first time we are experiencing the Sunbird nest in our garden and we are hopeful that it will be successful."


  1. The Sunbird is such a beautiful bird with a very interesting nest. This is a wonderful blog!

  2. What terrific pictures. It is lovely to hear of someone's experience of these birds and not just see pictures in a book

  3. in my home sunbird built the nest over the cloth hanging rope. it lie two eggs and both will born safely. the cute little bird jump oftenlly from nest. now they all grow and flyed .... still the empty nest is hanging.. we wait to see that cute family again......


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