I recently purchased a new Canon EOS 7D again, after I sold my Canon EOS 1DMark IV camera. I use 7D as my backup camera for Canon EOS 5D Mark III. Having one full frame and another cropped sensor camera gives the versatility of both the worlds. There are two things the 7D does better than the 5D Mark III. It has a better reach and a better frame per second in burst mode. With new version 2.0 firmware all these features are further enhanced. Other than these two features 5D Mark III scores better in all other respects. That day I was trying out my 7D on a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM fitted with Canon EF 1.4x III Extender. I spotted this male Purple-rumped Sunbird fluttering nearby and was able to catch it in my frame.
The Purple-rumped Sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica) is a sunbird endemic to the Indian Subcontinent. Like other sunbirds, they are small birds, living on nectar but sometimes take insects, particularly when feeding young. They can hover brief period, usually from their perch to flower during feeding. Their nest is a hanging pouch of cobwebs, lichens and plant material. Males are brightly colored but females are olive above and yellow to buff below.
Purple-rumped Sunbird has a medium-length thin down-curved bill and brush-tipped tubular tongue, both adaptations to its nectar feeding. Purple-rumped Sunbirds are sexually dimorphic. The males have a dark maroon upper side with a blue-green crown that is visible in some angles. There are violet patches on the throat and rump which are visible only in good lighting. There is also a maroon breast band. In the Western Ghats, it can overlap in some areas with the Crimson-backed Sunbird but that species has reddish upper parts and lack the purple shoulder patch of Purple-rumped Sunbird. The female has a white throat followed by yellowish breast. There is a bright green shoulder patch. The upper side is olive or brownish. The upper tail coverts are black and a weak supercilium is visible. Their call is ptsiee ptsit, ptsiee ptsswit or a sharp twittering tityou, titou, trrrtit, tityou.
Purple-rumped Sunbird is a common resident breeder in southern India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. It is found in Gujarat to the west and extending into Meghalaya in the east. Records from Myanmar are not certain. This species is found in a variety of habitats with trees, including scrub and cultivation and is usually absent from dense forest.
They breed through the year and may have two broods, but mainly during the monsoons. The nest is made up of fine plant fibres, cobwebs and is studded on the exterior with lichens, bark pieces, flying seeds and other materials. The nest is constructed by the female alone although the male may fly alongside her giving her a moral support. The nest is lined with soft fibres from seeds of Calotropis. The nest is placed on the end of branch and the entrance usually faces a bush. Nests may sometimes be built close to buildings or under open porches. The female stays in the nest at night a couple of day before laying the eggs. The clutch consists of two eggs which are oval pale greenish and white with spots and streaks becoming more dense at the broad end. When collecting cobwebs they are often seen at windows of homes. The eggs are laid mainly in the morning. The eggs are incubated by both the male and female. The incubation period varies from 14 to 16 days. The chicks fledge in about 17 days and continue to be fed by the male for a few days. Helpers, females or possibly juveniles from the previous brood may sometimes assist the parents in feeding the young. Old nests are sometimes reused. Cases of nests being parasitised by the Grey-bellied Cuckoo are known.
They pollinate the flowers of many plant species such as Bruguiera, Woodfordia, Hamelia and Sterculia. They tend to perch while foraging for nectar and do not hover as much as the syntopic Loten’s Sunbird. It has been noted that they maintain special scratching posts, where they get rid of pollen and excess nectar sticking to their head. When the flowers are too deep to probe, they sometimes pierce the base of the flower and rob the nectar. They sometimes visit open crop fields and take honeydew exuded by leaf hoppers. The may indulge in dew-bathing, or bathing by sliding in drops of rain collected on large leaves.