Crimson Sunbird stealing nectar from flowers

posted in: Feeding-plants, Sunbirds | 5

Mike Koh a.k.a. astro08 photographed a Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), a male juvenile in the process of moulting into his adult plumage, collecting nectar in an unconventional way. The bird is actually stealing nectar, puncturing the sepals when the flower is still in the bud stage. The flowers look very like those of the tapioca plant, also known as manihot (Manihot esculenta).

An earlier moulting stage of this sunbird can be seen HERE.

Image by Mike Koh.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

5 Responses

  1. mir i ali

    i am very much in touch with hummingbirds in NW USA. these birds very easily and regularly feed on nectar prepared wit 4 parts water and one part sugar. these nectar feeders are hung from a backyard tree branches. do the sun birds in asian coutries do the same. has anyone tried this method. thanks.

  2. YC

    I am not aware of any Asian homes with nectar feeders, let alone bird feeders. But I did come across a blog that experimented with a feeder that attracted sunbirds. It was made of artificial flowers, each connected by a piece of drinking straw to a central supply of sugar solution. The account is somewhere in cyberspace. Would love to have the link again though.

  3. YC

    Thanks Tabib. I remember now. It was you who sent me the link. Unfortunately I did not manage to get permission then to post it.

  4. Donald G.H Tan

    Hi YC,
    Thanks for your visit and a Thank You to you too, Tabib.
    You can also see a HD Video clip on our sunbirds drinking from another DIY feeder shot in slow motion..
    It is here at
    We have managed to get 2 nectar feeders for the Sunbirds and seed feeders for the Doves. All 4 feeders are in full operation and the birds kept coming back everyday.
    Cheers and Regards
    Donald G. H Tan

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