Adrian Lim a.k.a. wmw998 photographed a Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata) in Peninsular Malaysia in August 2008. What attracted his attention was the presence of a small red patch on its side and a blue patch near the base of the tail area (above). These colourful patches suggested to Adrian that the bird was in the process of changing into its breeding plumage.
Our bird specialist, R Subaraj has this to say: “Yes! You are correct. Both are young birds (top, above left) beginning to moult into adult male plumage. You can see bits of the right colours in the right places. The photo (above left) also distinctly shows the orange gape of a young bird.”
The Black-throated Sunbird, resident in Peninsular Malaysia, is not seen in Singapore. The adult male is a handsome bird with colourful plumage (above right).
All images by Adrian Lim.
This post is a cooperative effort between www.naturepixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.