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Sunbirds: Nectariniidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Sunbirds are active, energetic creatures. Individuals may forage alone, in monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus) pairs (with just one mate), or in groups. Some species, among them the olive sunbird, collared sunbird, and Bates' sunbird, forage in groups in the canopies of dense primary tropical forest.


The ten species of spiderhunters are an obscure, little-studied group of small, mostly arboreal birds scattered through the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and some of the Indonesian islands. They feed on spiders and insects. Beaks of all the spiderhunters are thin and downcurved, more or less like those of sunbirds, but more robust. The beak of the gray-breasted spiderhunter is so long and robust that it borders on the grotesque.

The most common sort of nest built by sunbirds is oval, purse-like, and hung from a small tree branch. Sunbirds form monogamous pairs to mate and breed. The female constructs the nest and incubates the eggs, while both sexes care for the chicks. The female lays two or three eggs.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsSunbirds: Nectariniidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird (chalcoparia Singalensis): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SUNBIRDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS