The tiny sunbird or Kolibri in Creole, is one of the few endemic species that has thrived since humans arrived in the Seychelles.
Seychelles sunbird © Jeff Watson
It can live alongside introduced predators like rats and cats, perhaps because its beautiful hanging nest, built on the end of twigs, gives the egg and chick protection. Sunbirds feed in gardens as well as native forests, visiting hibiscus and other flowers. They use their narrow, curved beaks to reach sugary nectar from flowers and also catch small insects. The male has a shiny violet-green bib and yellow tuffs (hard to see) under each wing. Sunbirds are active, noisy birds, with a surprisingly loud song. Sunbirds occur everywhere from coastal mangroves to the highest parts of Morne Seychellois, 900m above sea level.
Scientific name: Cinnyris dussumieri
Population in Seychelles: At least 20,000 birds
Distribution in Seychelles: Almost all the granitic islands
Habitat: Forest, scrub, gardens, from sea level to mountain peaks
Nest: Hanging nests, made of grass and moss bound with spider webs. A single egg is laid.
Diet: Nectar and insects
Identification: A tiny bird with a down-curved thin bill and (in males) an iridescent throat patch