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  • Writer's pictureS Santosh Kumar (sukubirder)

Birds in Northeastern India: Black-throated Sunbird

(Nikon D500, 200-500mm lens; 1/640, f/6.3, ISO800-1600; hand-held; @Mahananda WLS, 25/02/23)

Black-throated Sunbird (Aethopyga saturata), Latpanchar, Mahananda WLS: As posted earlier, while waiting for Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird to show up on the Red Nongmangkha flowers, a male Black-throated Sunbird appeared in the shadows nearby. It did make a quick visit to the flowers but didn’t stay long enough to give a decent picture. This male looked quite devoid of colour when compared to the other male sunbirds. It was partially due to the poor lighting which sort of obscures the iridescence of the feathers and the predominance of black on the throat and breast in a frontal view. In good lighting, the male displays a metallic violet-purple crown and nape, wine-red back, metallic purple-blue upper tail, especially when viewed from above, and some purplish or bluish metallic sheen on the throat (as seen in one of the pictures here). The species name 'saturata' is apparently derived from Latin saturatus, meaning richly coloured.

PS: Don’t miss the tiny bug striking a pose next to the bird, it’s probably not on the menu of the sunbird.

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