Ruby-cheeked Sunbird

Ruby-cheeked Sunbird Chalcoparia singalensis occurs India to Greater Sundas. Race assamensis resident western and southern Yunnan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Lowland forests to 1300 m (4,270 ft.). Like other sunbirds, constructs elaborate if untidy hanging nest made of moss, bark, and spider webs. Eats pollen as well as spiders, ants, and insect larvae. ID Male metallic green above, black on flight feathers and tail; cheek brownish-red, bordered below by iridescent purple line; throat and breast orange. Yellow from belly to undertail coverts. Female olive-green or greyish above, yellow below, with orange throat. Juvenile like female but all yellow below and has darker iris. BARE PARTS Bill straight, black; feet blackish-yellow; iris red. VOICE Call a thin, insistent seep, seep; song a busy warble, reminiscent of Yellow-bellied Tit. — Craig Brelsford

THE SUNBIRDS OF CHINA has research on all species in the family Nectariniidae in China. Click any link:

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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