Name: Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis)
Classification: Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Passeriformes > Nectarinidae > Nectarinia > jugularis
Habitat: Secondary forest, Parkland, Field, Low-density urban, Urban
Description: A small but ubiquitous bird, the Olive-backed Sunbird is one of the most abundant birds in Singapore. With its bright colouration, long curved beak, small size and limited ability to hover, the Olive-backed Sunbird is often mistaken for a hummingbird, though of course hummingbirds are completely unrelated to sunbirds and are only found in the Americas. Like other sunbirds, the Olive-backed Sunbird also exhibits sexual dimorphism, with the adult male having an iridescent deep blue patch of feathers around the throat and a barely discernible patch of bright orange pectoral feathers. The rest of the male’s underside is bright yellow and the upperside is olive-green. The female Olive-backed Sunbird lacks the iridescent blue throat patch and has many patches of white on the underside of its tail.
Female Brown-throated Sunbird vs. Female Olive-backed Sunbird: Owing to their similarities, it is often difficult to distinguish between the females of the Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) and the Olive-backed Sunbird. The key to telling them apart is to look at the eyes and the tail feathers. Female Brown-throated Sunbirds have a yellow eye-ring whereas female Olive-backed Sunbirds have a yellow supercilium (stripe running just above the eye). Additionally, Brown-throated Sunbirds have no white tail feathers whereas Olive-backed Sunbirds have white patches on its under-tail feathers, although it may not always be possible to see these feathers clearly. Although these distinguishing characteristics may be very subtle, a reasonably trained eye should easily be able to notice the difference given the right environmental conditions.
|Characteristic||Brown-throated Sunbird||Olive-backed Sunbird|
|Pattern around eye||Broad yellow eye-ring||Yellow supercilium|
|Presence of white tail feathers?||No||Yes|
Widespread all over NUS.