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India does not host humming birds, rather has resembling sunbirds: visitor from US
"It is strange and surprising that I find the humming bird sitting on the bottle brush bush and sucking nectar. I had heard that there are no humming birds in Indian subcontinent since they are found in American subcontinent," said Vipin while sitting in our house garden in the morning. He was visiting us in Jaipur during his Rajasthan tour from US.

I started clicking photographs of the bird that was swift and frisky. The moment I would click my camera, it was no more on the branch. With patience, I could chance into taking a reasonable picture of the small shiny black bird.

On checking at the web, it was found that it was not the humming bird but its look alike called the 'sunbird'. The male sunbirds have the black bright iridescent feathers and looked beautiful. On the other hand, female sunbirds were dull in greenish-grey colour.

Sunbirds have slightly bent thin and sharp beak to feed on nectar of flowers either directly or puncturing the bottom end of the flowers. They hover around in the air like humming birds with fast and direct flight to flowers owing to their short wings and fast flapping. They also feed on spiders and insects during their breeding season.

Though Indian sunbird species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but they usually perch to feed as the one shown in the picture feeding nectar

The Indian sunbirds have two resembling counterparts in the form the hummingbirds of the Americas and the honeyeaters of Australia. The resemblances are due to small sizes and similar nectar-feeding lifestyle.

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