The smallest bird of India is the Purple-rumped Sunbird, also known as Leptocoma zeylonica. This tiny bird belongs to the sunbird family and is found across the Indian subcontinent.
The Purple-rumped Sunbird is a mere 10 cm in length and weighs only about 5 grams. The male of the species has a glossy metallic green head, throat and back, with a purple patch on its rump. In contrast, the female has an olive-green body with yellowish underparts.
This little bird is known for its agility and acrobatics in flight. It can hover mid-air while feeding on nectar from flowers or catch insects on the wing. Its long curved beak helps it reach deep into flowers to extract nectar while its tongue acts like a brush to collect it.
The Purple-rumped Sunbird is commonly found in gardens, parks, and forested areas across India. It prefers open habitats with flowering plants where it can find nectar to feed on. The male of the species is highly territorial during breeding season and can be seen performing elaborate courtship displays to attract females.
These tiny birds are not just beautiful but also play an important role in pollination by transferring pollen from one flower to another while feeding on nectar. They are also preyed upon by larger birds such as shrikes and drongos.
Despite their small size, Purple-rumped Sunbirds have adapted well to urbanization and can often be seen visiting gardens and balconies in search of food. They are truly a marvel of nature and a delight to watch in action.
In conclusion, the Purple-rumped Sunbird is indeed the smallest bird of India but don't let its size fool you as it is full of surprises when it comes to its abilities and beauty.