The Olive-backed Sunbird, Cinnyris jugularis, also known as the
is a species of sunbird found from Southern Asian to Australia.
The sunbirds are a group of very small Old World passerine birds
which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects,
especially when feeding young. Their flight is fast and direct on their
short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering, but usually perch
to feed most of the time.
Male hovering while feeding
The Olive-backed Sunbird is common across southern China to the
Philippines and Malaysia down to northeast Australia. They are small
songbirds, at most 12cm long. In most subspecies, the underparts of both
male and female are bright yellow, the backs are a dull brown colour.
The forehead, throat and upper breast of the adult male is a dark,
metallic blue-black. In the Philippines the males of some subspecies
have an orange band on the chest, in Wallacea and northern New Guinea
some subspecies have most of the underparts
blackish, and in southern China and adjacent parts of Vietnam most of
the underparts of the male are greyish-white.
Originally from mangrove habitat, the Olive-backed sunbird has
adapted well to humans, and is now common even in fairly densely
populated areas, even forming their nests in human dwellings.
The birds mate between the months of April and August. Both the male
and the female assist in building the nest which is flask-shaped, with
an overhanging porch at the entrance, and a trail of hanging material at
the bottom end.
After building the nest, the birds abandon the nest for about a week
before the female returns to lay one or two greenish-blue eggs. The eggs
take a further week to hatch. The female may leave the nest for short
periods during the day during incubation. After the chicks have hatched,
both male and female assist in the care of the young, which leave the
nest about two or three weeks later.