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Nectarinia jugularis


One of the delights of a lush garden in tropical Queensland, apart from the colourful butterflies, is the sight of an Olive-backed Sunbirds flitting about among the flowers, probing them with its gracefully curved bill, often while hovering. Equally enchanting is stumbling across its strange, suspended nest, hanging from a twig or part of a building by a long, thin cord of grass and fibres. Sunbirds are often rather confiding when nesting in people’s gardens, allowing a close approach if you are quiet.


The Olive-backed Sunbird is a small honeyeater-like bird with a distinctive down-curved bill. On the male, the head is yellowish-olive with a yellow supercilium and a yellow moustachial stripe. The upperparts are also yellowish-olive except for the tail, which is black with a white tip. An iridescent dark-bluish or dark-violet gorget extends from the chin to the upper breast; the rest of the unnderbody is bright yellow. The upperwing is dark brown and the underwing is yellowish white with brownish grey flight feathers. The bill is black and the feet dark grey. The female appears similar but a little paler, and lacks the iridescent gorget, being wholly yellow underneath.

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Spotted by

Mackay, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Jul 10, 2013
Submitted on Jul 10, 2013

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