Br Male: metallic purple-blue above, and on throat and breast; dark purplish-black belly; narrow chestnut-maroon band between breast and belly; yellow and scarlet pectoral tufts, normally hidden under wings. Female: olive-brown above; pale yellow below (zeylonica female has whitish throat). Non-breeding male: much like female but with a broad purple-black stripe down centre of throat to belly. Solitary or in pairs; an important pollinating agent, almost always seen around flowering trees and bushes; displays amazing agility and acrobatic prowess when feeding; sometimes hunts flycatcher style.
open forests, gardens, groves.
nectar, small insects, spiders.
subcontinent, south from Himalayan foothills to about 1,500m.
more noisy than other sunbirds; loud chweet… notes.