Oriental Bird Images

Next >> 
Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja siparaja   - Juvenile beginning to moult into adult plumage
Crimson Sunbird
Photographer : © Amar-Singh HSS
Location :Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Date : 13 August 2018
English synonyms:Eastern Crimson Sunbird, Scarlet-breasted Sunbird, Scarlet-throated Sunbird, Yellow-backed Sunbird, Magnificent Sunbird (magnifica), Goulpourah Sunbird, Greater Crimson Sunbird (seheriae), Lesser Crimson Sunbird (siparaja), Sulawesi Sunbird (flavostriata, beccarii)
Bird Family :Nectariniini - Sunbirds & Spiderhunters
Red Data Status :Least Concern
Remarks :The flowering and fruiting Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthae pentandra), that attracts birds, has allowed me to document juvenile male Crimson Sunbirds as they moult into adulthood. Details on juveniles are lacking for the region (Wells 2007). Between 9-12 juveniles currently visit the plants, usually very early from 7.30-9.30am. I have seen 9 juvenile Crimson Sunbirds at one time but suspect the number is larger as, this area is vast and, they congregate here for their nectar feast. Some juveniles tend to be very territorial and even chase adult Crimson Sunbirds away; hence I have seen very few adults. Shown here are 4 self-feeding birds that show plumage progression from juvenile to immature:
First image is of a younger juvenile (clear gape) displaying the first signs of some orange-red on the throat and breast.
Second image is of a slightly older bird with more development of orange-red and the beginnings of the moustachial streaks.
Third image is a bird with a less prominent gape, full orange-red throat with greater colour spread to the breast. Up to this point the brilliant red has still not developed.
Fourth image (shown here) is an immature bird with crimson developing on shoulders, neck and lower breast, and orange at throat has deepened. There is no forehead metallic plumage as yet. The next stage will be a deepening and extension of the crimson-scarlet to involve the full upper parts of the body at which point the metallic plumage on forehead starts to develop.
Note bill in all these 4 birds the upper mandible has become black unlike the younger, still feeding-dependent, juveniles that have orange beaks.
Note the feet the juveniles start with bright orange feet and progress to develop dark black feet as in adults, although, even then the soles retain some orange in adults.
Taxonomic Notes :Note that the form vigorsii is now treated as a separate full species: Vigors's Sunbird Aethopyga vigorsii.

The form magnifica is sometimes treated as a full species Magnificent Sunbird A. (s.) magnifica.

Select an image: