Shri Jasnath Asan, Rajasthan, India
Photo © Shri Jasnath Asan, 2016
Spring is here! The male sunbirds are just beginning to change out of their winter eclipse plumage and into their striking spring breeding plumage. They have lost the yellow breast and broad black chest stripe that they wore through the winter. They are replacing it with an amazing shimmering, glimmering, plumage of metallic blue-green and purple with a striking maroon shine on the feathers of the collar around the neck.
I’ve included photos of their eclipse plumage, that I took when I was here in November as well as photos taken today with the birds showing off their fashionable spring attire. Look closely at the photos and compare the plumage. On one you even can see the male sunbird has new pin feathers coming in on his head and he is still showing a tiny tuft of yellow feathers under his wing left over from his winter plumage.
Hummingbirds are only found in the western hemisphere, but here in India and across most of Africa to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and parts of Australia.the sunbirds occupy similar same ecological niche. The male purple sunbrds simply glitter as they move from flower to flower sipping nectar They are equipped with a long down curved bill and long thin tongue perfect for sipping nectar from the depths of a flower and for catching the occasional insect.
Panchla Siddha, India
Sharon K. Schafer
I paint, photograph, and speak about wild places in an act of reciprocity that is as vital to me as heartbeat or breath.
My interest in the magic and mystery of the natural world lies at the intersection of art and science.
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