Purple-naped Sunbird

Purple-naped Sunbird
Purple-naped Sunbird Kurochkinegramma hypogrammicum, male, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China, elev. 770 m (2,530 ft.), February. (Craig Brelsford)
Purple-naped Sunbird
Female, Xishuangbanna, January. (Craig Brelsford)

Purple-naped Sunbird Kurochkinegramma hypogrammicum occurs Burma to Greater Sundas, with lisettae in southern Yunnan (Xishuangbanna). HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Lowland forests, to 1000 m (3,280 ft.); often in lower stories. Sips nectar, sometimes hovering in front of flower, probing with decurved bill and lapping up the liquid with its bristly tongue. Also eats insects, spiders, and berries. ID & COMPARISON With its diagnostic heavily streaked yellow underparts, may be confused with Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna, but Streaked Spiderhunter larger and has streaked upperparts and underparts and a much longer and more decurved bill. Male Purple-naped has olive-green upperparts, with metallic purple on nape, rump, and uppertail coverts. Tail blackish with white tips to outer tail feathers. Female lacks purple. BARE PARTS Bill black; feet yellowish-brown. VOICE Call a single cheep, delivered in long, monotonous series when alarmed or excited. Song typically consists of three notes. — Craig Brelsford


shanghaibirding.com has research on all 13 species in the family Nectariniidae in China. Click any link below:

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
Purple Sunbird Cinnyris asiaticus
Olive-backed Sunbird C. jugularis
Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird Aethopyga gouldiae
Green-tailed Sunbird A. nipalensis
Fork-tailed Sunbird A. christinae
Black-throated Sunbird A. saturata
Crimson Sunbird A. siparaja
Fire-tailed Sunbird A. ignicauda
Purple-naped Sunbird Kurochkinegramma hypogrammicum
Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
Streaked Spiderhunter A. magna


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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