Sunbirds

Nectariniidae

Taxonomy Version: IOC 10.2
family
Taxonomy Ranking
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The sunbirds and spiderhunders are sometimes considered to be the counterparts of the hummingbirds (Trochilidae) of the New World, though their structural and behavioural similarities arise through convergent evolution rather than any close taxonomic relationship. They are small, slender birds, often brightly coloured and iridescent, with relatively long, down-curved bills (the spinderhunters have particularly long bills). Some species are capable of hovering like a hummingbird, but they are generally less adept and many perch to feed. The family's range extends across a range of habitats from sub-Saharan Africa through the Middle East, India, South-East Asia and New Guinea as far as north-eastern Australia.

  • Cameroon Sunbird © Ian Fulton

  • Eastern Violet-backed Sunbird - Western © Dave Williams

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