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Flowerpeckers: Dicaeidae - Physical Characteristics

true short males females

Flowerpeckers consist of the true flowerpeckers and the berrypeckers. Some researchers consider only the true flowerpeckers as members of the family Dicaeidae, with the berrypeckers sometimes in dispute among scientists as to their membership in the family.

All six groups of birds are very small, dumpy-looking, often brightly colored with short, usually straight bills and short stubby tails. Upperparts are dark and glossy, and under parts are lighter. In species with dull plumage (feathers), no difference between males and females occurs. In those species with bright plumage, males have patches of bright colors; those patches are missing in females. In some species, females appear duller and larger than males. They are 2.2 to 8.3 inches (5.6 to 21.0 centimeters) long and weigh between 0.14 and 2.80 ounces (4 to 80 grams).

True flowerpeckers are small birds with short bills and short, stubby tails. The outer third of the upper bill is serrated (having notches). Their tongues have frilly outer edges, termed fimbriations.

Berrypeckers have simple tongues, long, straight bills, and lack specializations of the gut (abdomen) that are contained in true flowerpeckers.

Flowerpeckers: Dicaeidae - Behavior And Reproduction [next]

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