Named after a colonial Dutch governor of Ceylon, Joan Gideon Loten, the Loten’s Sunbird (Cinnyris lotenius), also known as the Long-billed Sunbird or Maroon-breasted Sunbird, is a sunbird species that calls the Indian peninsula home. The bird distinguishes itself with its long, curved bill and a glossy coat.

Loten’s Sunbird

Loten’s Sunbird

 

This sunbird feeds on small insects and spiders, builds hanging nests, and is often found bobbing its head while foraging. Males of the species possess tufts of yellow mixed with crimson that is used in displays. These are mainly glossy, purple-hued birds.

Their long bills that are curved downwards and brush-tipped tubular tongues enable them to feed on nectar. The bird also performs ‘pest control’ on the plantations of Coorg.

Loten’s Sunbird

Basking Glory!

 

The Loten’s Sunbird breeds between November and March, its nest being a ‘bag’ woven from webs, bark and caterpillar frass.

Recall seeing this bird sunning itself in Coorg?:)