Top 25 birds of the week: Nectarivorous Birds

Plants produce nectar as an incentive for birds and insects to pollinate them. Some plants are particularly well suited for bird pollinators, their flowers are often red or orange and have tubular flowers. Birds that specialise in feeding on nectar have long, narrow bills, well suited to reaching into these flowers. These birds and these plants have evolved together to form a mutually beneficial relationship, where the plant gets pollinated and the bird gets a sugary treat.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of birds with the theme #nectarivore, your pictures can create awareness about the variety and beauty of birds in our environment. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of the week.


The Cape Sugarbird has an extremely long tail, up to 44 centimeters long. This bird was photographed while feeding in South Africa in the Kirstenbosch Forests on a Rockjumper (Owen Deutsch Photography)


The ‘Apapane is a species of the Hawaiian Honeycreeper that is endemic to Hawaii. This species forages in the canopies of Õhi’a trees, drinking nectar from flowers and simultaneously pollinating them. Photographed in Maui, Hawaii, USA (Ashrith R. Kandula)


The Black-throated Sunbird is found in the Indian Subcontinent ad adjoining regions of Southeast Asia. Its populations range across Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. Photographed at Pahang, Malaysia (Richard Chong)


The Crimson Sunbird feeds largely on nectar, although it will sometimes be seen taking insects, especially when feeding the young. Photographed at Chakki Mod (Anuj Jain)


Crimson Sunbird Photographed at Git-Kilbong, West Bengal, India. This bird is an unofficial national bird of Singapore (Gargi Biswas)


The Fire-tailed Sunbird is found in the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent, primarily in the Himalayas, and also in some adjoining regions in Southeast Asia. Birds of this species feed on insects, and also nectar. Photo taken at Chakki Mod, Himachal Pradesh, India (Anoop k)


Fire-tailed Sunbird photographed in Chakki Mod, Himachal Pradesh, India (Sanjiv Khanna)


Fire-tailed Sunbird. Photographed by Satyajit Ganguly at Chakki Modh, Himachal Pradesh, India


Female Green-tailed Sunbird. Darjeeling hills, West Bengal, India, (Subrato Sanyal)


The Little Spiderhunter is one of the long-billed species of the nectar-feeding bird in the family Nectariniidae. It is found in the moist forests of South and Southeast Asia. Photographed at Munnar, India (Subramanniyan Mani)


Little Spiderhunter photographed in Munnar, Kerala, India (Subrato Sanyal)


Loten’s Sunbird, also known as Long-billed Sunbird or Maroon-breasted Sunbird, is an endemic bird to Peninsular India and Sri Lanka. This bird is very similar to the Purple Sunbird that is found in the same areas and also tends to hover at flowers for nectar, but it can be distinguished by longer bill, the maroon band on the breast and brownish wings. Photographed at Munnar, Kerala, India (Dr SS Suresh)


Mrs Gould’s Sunbird is native to forests and shrublands from the southern foothills of the Himalayas to Southeast Asia. Photo taken in Bhutan (Deepa Javdekar)


The Olive-backed Sunbird is also known as the Yellow-bellied Sunbird. It is a common bird across southern China and Southeast Asia to Queensland and the Solomon Islands. Photo taken in Singapore (Lil’tography Lilian Sng)


The Purple Sunbird is mainly found in South and Southeast Asia but extending west into parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Just like other sunbirds, they feed on nectar, although they may also be seen taking insects, especially when feeding their young. Photographed at Bap, Rajasthan, India (Subrata Das)


Purple sunbird in its non-breeding plumage. Photo taken at Sangli, Maharashtra, India (Prakash Chimad)


Female Purple Sunbird Photographed at Jaipur, India (Asha Sharma)


Purple Sunbird photographed at Chandigarh, India (Anuj Jain)


Male Purple Sunbird photographed at Mecheda, West Bengal, India (Avishek Mukherjee)


The Purple-rumped Sunbird is endemic to the Indian Subcontinent. It is typically a small bird, that mainly feeds on nectar but will sometimes take insects, particularly when feeding its young. Photo taken at Nagpur, India Photographed (Dr. Pavan Puri)


Purple-rumped sunbird photographed at Puducherry, India (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)


The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most plentiful hummingbird east of the Mississippi River, they primarily eat nectar from flowers and flowering trees, as well as small insects and spiders. Photographed in the USA (Kelly Hunt)


The Streaked Spiderhunter is similar in size to a sparrow. It feeds on nectar of flowers such as the wild banana blossom. Photographed at Fraser’s Hill, Malaysia (Manodya Lakmal)


Streaked Spiderhunter photographed in the Darjeeling outskirts, in India (Sinchan Ray)


Streaked Spiderhunter at Rajabhatkhawa, Alipurduar, India (Prashanta Bhattacharjee)


Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Abigail Ramudzuli, Campaign Manager