Purple-rumped sunbird (Leptocoma zeylonica)

Purple-rumped sunbird

(Leptocoma zeylonica)


The purple-rumped sunbird is a sunbird endemic to the Indian Subcontinent. Like other sunbirds, they are small in size, feeding mainly on nectar but sometimes take insects, particularly when feeding young. They can hover for short durations but usually perch to suck nectar from flowers. They build a hanging pouch nest made up of cobwebs, lichens and plant material.

In central park, salt lake they are often seen after the monsoons. Though it is a common bird but is not found widely in central park throughout the year.


Like the purple sunbird the Purple-rumped sunbirds are also found here in central park, but in lesser numbers. Also, like the purple sunbird I’ve photographed this during the morning which is their feeding time and are most approachable during this time if you can approach without disturbing them.

They are more visible near calliandra plants which have very colourful flowers, because of the nectar on which they feed on.

But nectar isn’t the only food, they feed on berries and will also take on insects, especially when feeding young.

Purple-rumped sunbirds are important pollinators as well like other sunbirds. They are again some shy birds but can be approached during their feeding period, or when they are preening, with caution and patience. Locally it is known as Moutusi in Bengali.


Purple-rumped sunbirds are tiny at less than 10 cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations for nectar feeding. Purple-rumped sunbirds are sexually dimorphic.

The males have a dark maroon upperside with a blue-green crown that glistens at some angles, bright green shoulder patch and violet/purple rump patch which is generally hidden under the wings.

The underparts are whitish with dark throat, maroon breast band and purple/violet patch in the throat which is visible in some angles.

The iris is generally reddish in color. In the Western Ghats, it can overlap in some areas with the crimson-backed sunbird but the male of that species has reddish upper parts, a broader breast band and generally darker eyes.

The female has a white throat followed by yellowish breast. The upperside is olive or brownish. The upper tail coverts are black and a weak supercilium may be visible.Another sunbird that is widely found in this region is the Purple Sunbird


Call:  ptsiee ptsit, ptsiee ptsswit or a sharp twittering tityou, titou, trrrtit, tityou


Tips .

  • You can spot it easily near the gates of the Central Park on the calliandra plants, gate no. 3
  • If you notice with attention, this birds’ purple hue would catch your attention.
  • Have a lot of patience, be slow but firm in approaching. 
  • This is a very shy bird. Try to move in slow, clicking one photograph with every step forward. Do not go too near, maximum 10-feet near the bird.
  • A zoom lens of 70-300mm minimum, a 300mm and so on can be used  to photograph


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