Brown-throated Sunbird attacking its own reflection

Video grab.

Amelia Yeo sent in the video (below) with this note: “I have a video of a sunbird attacking its own reflection in a carpark mirror that I will try to send you shortly. If you turn the sound up, you can hear how hard the bird is pecking on its reflection on the mirror. My husband said this particular male sunbird has been sighted many times by him attacking its reflection in this same mirror.”

Wildlife Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai kindly identified the sunbird as a male Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) – from the metallic green on the mantle and brown only at the throat.

Video grab.

This aggressive response to its mirror image is most probably due to sunbird perceiving it as a strange bird invading its territory. Thus the aggressive response typical of a bird encountering another infringing on its territory – see HERE.

Check out the many posts on such “shadow boxing” behaviour by using the search box on the right of the page and typing the words “collision-reflection”.

Amelia Yeo with Subaraj Rajathurai
15th June 2019

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