Star species – published on 20th of April 2020
Page fully published with ECOLODGES INDONESIA
See Nectariniidae family (sunbirds, spiderhunters…)
In French: Souimanga de Timor en français
This brightly colored sunbird is locally common but very localised. It is not officially endemic because the Lesser Sundas administered by two different countries (Indonesia and Timor Leste), but it only exists in a relatively small geographical area from the island of Sumbawa East to Timor.
The behavior, including breeding and diet, seems identical to that of the very widespread Olive-backed Sunbird. At first sight, it could even appear as a subspecies of the latter (similarity in size, shape, female plumage, etc.), but the two cohabit widely without territorial interaction. The voice is also radically different. They are, therefore, well distinct species, but the ecological niche gaps that enable such coexistence have not been explored.
Flame-throated Sunbird approaches your balcony as you sip your morning tea or coffee at Mbeliling Ecolodge
During the period of lockdown for half of humanity, in April 2020, we had the chance to settle in the superb Mbeliling Ecolodge on the island of Flores, in Indonesia, where the virus and the lockdown did not reach. The first morning, while we were enjoying the splendid view on the mountain, the forest, and the sea, with our hot drink in hand, many birds came to visit us. The place is rich in biodiversity, butterflies and dragonflies are also numerous. The first bird that perched right in front of us was this gorgeous male of Flame-throated Sunbird.
The species is common in the gardens and in the surroundings of the property, where we were able to take other photos with a different light.
The light, precisely, at 900 meters above sea level, is remarkably beautiful and suitable for photography. At the same time, on the lowlands, such in Labuan Bajo, there are just two hours where it is possible to take outstanding photos of birds and was the beginning of a very promising stay in a heavenly place!
Taxonomy and subspecies
The birds of Wetar (one of the Lesser Sunda Islands in the north-eastern part of the range) have a slightly thicker beak, and the female is brighter yellow. They are separated in the subspecies C. s. exquisitus. The most likely sister-species is the Apricot-breasted Sunbird, who seems to replace the Flame-breasted Sunbird on this small island of Sumba where the latter is absent.
[Species #841 of the Holistic Encyclopedia of Birds project]
SEE HERE OTHER PAGES ABOUT BIRDS TAKEN AT MBELILING ECOLODGE :
- Golden-rumped Flowerpecker
- White-rumped Kingfisher
- Flores Monarch
- Flores Drongo
- Thick-billed White-eye
- Brown-capped Fantail
- Rusty-breasted Whistler
- Flores Crow
- Flores Minivet
- Flores Lorikeet
- Wallacean Cuckooshrike
- Dark-crowned White-eye
- Little Cuckoo-Dove
All photos and text are © Valéry Schollaert 2020
with acknowledgment to the copy editor: Remy Ty