1289. Anthreptes malacensis malacensis

(1289) Anthreptes malacensis malacensis (Scop.).
Anthreptes malacensis malacensis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii. p. 409.
This Sunbird has been obtained in Arakan and is common in Tenasserim, and thence extends South to Sumatra, Borneo and Java. East it is common in Siam and Annam.
It is a bird of forest, scrub, secondary growth, bamboo-jungle and of gardens, parks and villages, and is extremely common in the gardens and orchards of Siam.
The nest was first taken in Taiping by W. A. T. Kellow, and later Williamson and Herbert found it breeding very numerously in Siam. Within our limits it has not yet been obtained breeding, though it undoubtedly does so wherever found.
In the ‘Journal of the Siam Natural History Society' (vol. vi, pl. xvi) Herbert gives the following account of its nidification :— “This Sunbird may also be seen in the larger compounds, but its favourite resort is the fruit-gardens, where it is resident and plentiful.
"The nest is secured to one of the outer branches of a tree or shrub or, not infrequently, to the flower-stems of a Betel-palm at about 30 feet from the ground. It is a simple pear-shaped structure, with a thick pad forming a portico over the entrance. The general appearance of the nest is rough owing to the coarse pieces of fibre attached to the outside, but the interior is neatly woven and is lined with cotton. Cobwebs are freely used for sticking the loose pieces of fibre together. The nesting season of this Sunbird is not quite so extensive as that of the other, but it is in steady progress from early February to the end of August.”
To this may be added that the nests are sometimes oval rather than pear-shaped and are composed of fine grasses, coir, fibre from palm-tree trunks, bits of leaf, bark etc., but mainly of rather fine grass, the high portico over the entrance being almost all grass. This portico projects some inch or more from the nest, but does not come low down in front of the entrance, which is large and badly finished off. A long tail below the nest, like that so common in the nests of the Purple Sunbirds, is hardly ever found in those of this bird.
The nests measure roughly from 4 by 2.1/2 inches to 5 or even 6 by 3 inches.
It is curious that in Sumatra many nests are built without a portico, and that in Borneo no nests have it.
In Siam, around Bangkok and Bonsukai, Herbert and Williamson have taken eggs from the 7th February to the 9th October, In Taiping Kellow took a nest in January, while Sody took nests in Sumatra in June and in Borneo in February and March.
The number of eggs laid is invariably two. The ground varies from pure white to a purplish-grey or pinkish-grey, sometimes quite strongly tinted. The markings consist of pale smears and blotches of grey, more or less tinged with purple and with a few black, or purplish-black, spots, hair-lines and hieroglyphics. In most eggs the impression given is that of a purplish egg but, in some, the ground and markings have no purple tinge, the latter being black or nearly so, with very faint secondary markings of grey. The eggs remind one much of those of Hippolais rama but are, of course, much bigger.
Sixty eggs average 17.3 x 12.6 mm. : maxima 19.5 x 12.3 and 18.4 x 13.3 mm. ; minima 16.5 x 12.1 and 16.7 x 12.0 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1289. Anthreptes malacensis malacensis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Brown Throated Sunbird
Anthreptes malacensis malacensis
Vol. 3

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith