Courtship of the Purple-throated Sunbird

on 3rd April 2009

A pair of Purple-throated Sunbird (Leptocoma sperata) was photographed on a branch by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong.

The male sunbird flew to a perch and started preening. Soon a female arrived, perching a little distance away. Noticing the female, he started his courtship display. He stretched out his body, with his bill pointing skywards. This puffed out his breast, displaying his rufous maroon chest and stretched his chin and throat, the better to display their metallic purple feathers. All this time he was singing loudly.

At first the dull, grey-olive female appeared disinterested, facing away from the male. Finally she turned around to take in his display. However, within a minute or two, she flew off, leaving him alone on the branch.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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