I saw this colourful bird while I was in Thailand – what is it, please?
QCan you identify this bird I photographed in December, 100m inland in hotel grounds bordered by rainforest on the west coast of Phuket island, Thailand? My Birds of South East Asia by Craig Robson doesn’t appear to show it. I’m not even certain of the family group, my initial thoughts suggest it is a pitta, but it doesn’t look big enough. Roger Barnsley
AIt’s a Brown-throated Sunbird, also sometimes known as the Plainthroated Sunbird, a species found in semiopen habitat throughout South East Asia. This is a male (the females are olive-green above and yellowish below), and good identifying characteristics (compared to other sunbirds) are the heavy bill, and the general size of the bird (it’s a relatively sturdy, large sunbird). Sunbirds are the Old World equivalent of hummingbirds, with those long bills used for extracting nectar from flowers. Fruit and berries also make up part of its diet, and insect food is vital for feeding youngsters.