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Purple-banded sunbird

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Purple-banded sunbirds (Cinnyris bifasciatus) can be found in riverine forest and thickets, well-vegetated gardens and sorties to nectar-producing plants away from rivers. Although they are often observed singly or in pairs, flocks of several hundred will congregate around seasonal flowering.

Distribution: Along the Kavango River and Caprivi Strip only.

Diet: Eats small flies and spiders. Forages with fellow nectar seekers around mistletoes, waterberries and some species of Aloe.

Description: Has a 10 to 12mm wide purple-maroon breast band, separated from the green breast by a shiny dark violet-blue band. Bifasciatus is a Latin phrase for double-banded. Often confused with the larger Marico sunbird.

Breeding: Females build a tidy pear-shaped nest, with an entrance located at the side-top of the nest. Lichen, plant fibres, fronds and leaves are bound by spider web into an oval. Only 1 or 2 eggs are laid from September to March.

Size: 11cm. Weight: 8g.

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