Cinnyris asiatica

Cinnyris asiatica, Lath.

234. :- Arachnechthra asiatica, Lath. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 370 ; Butler, Deccan; Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 390 ; Guzerat, Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 462 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 119; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 64.


Length, 4.5; wing, 2.3; tail, 1.5; tarsus, 0.6; bill at front, 0.75.

Bill and legs black; irides red-brown. In summer, breeding plumage this species has the whole head, neck, throat, breast, and back glossy green-purple; the abdomen purplish-black; wings and tail dull black, the latter faintly white-tipped; a tuft of crimson and yellow feathers at the axillae of the wings.

After breeding, the fine purple garb is doffed, all except a long stripe from the chin to the vent.

The young bird has the upper parts dull olive-green ; beneath bright yellow; shoulders and central stripe beneath brilliant glossy-violet; wings and tail dusky or black.

The female is greenish brown-grey above, greenish-yellow beneath, deepest on the throat and breast, and lighter on the vent and under tail-coverts ; quills dusky ; tail black!

The Purple Honey Sucker is very common throughout the region and is a permanent resident.

It breeds from March to September, but most nests are found in April and May; the nest is pendant, and resembles a florence-flask in shape; it is attached to a twig, and all sorts of material are made use of in its construction, fine grass, lichens, cobwebs, pieces of straw, dead flowers, and leaves, &c. The entrance is high up on one side, and has a projection or canopy over it to keep out the rain.

The eggs, two or three in number, are dingy little ovals, of a whitish ground color, thickly speckled with brown and greyish-brown. They measure 0.64 in length by about 0.46 in breadth.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Cinnyris asiatica
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
Purple Honey Sucker
Purple Sunbird
Cinnyris asiaticus
Term name: 

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