Fun Green-tailed Sunbird Facts For Kids

Georgia Stone
Aug 30, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Aug 31, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Green-tailed sunbird facts cover all the important information about this beautiful species.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.5 Min

The green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) species are Passeriformes and belong to the family Nectariniidae. Another name for this bird is the Nepal yellow-backed sunbird.

These birds are tiny in size and showcase a wide range of gorgeous colors that call for much appreciation. The identification of a male is quite easy with the crimson, metallic green-blue, olive, and yellow shade of its plumage.

The Aethopyga nipalensis (green-tailed sunbird) range is seen across Asia in Nepal, Bangladesh, the Himalayan region, Thailand, India, and Bhutan. The diet of this species consists of nectar and insects, but they are popularly known as 'spiderhunters'. Their call sounds like a 'zit' or ringing twitters.

The green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) breeds between April and June and the female builds suspended oval-shaped nests with a clutch size of two to three eggs. In addition, these birds are not on the verge of vulnerability and have been given the status of Least Concern.

If you want to know more about vibrant Passeriformes, take a look at the sunbird and the chipping sparrow.

Green-Tailed Sunbird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green-tailed sunbird?

In anatomy and identification, the green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) is a type of bird with around nine subspecies of the genus Aethopyga under the family Nectariniidae.

What class of animal does a green-tailed sunbird belong to?

Considering it is a species of bird, this beauty of Thailand, India, and Nepal belongs to the class Aves under the Passeriformes order.

How many green-tailed sunbirds are there in the world?

For this species of bird, the IUCN has not recorded the exact number but given them the status of Least Concern.

Where does the green-tailed sunbird live?

The green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) is found in a wide range across Asian countries such as Bhutan, Nepal, India, China, Bangladesh, Tibet, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, and Myanmar.

What is a green-tailed sunbird's habitat?

The common habitat range for the green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) is montane, temperate, and tropical, moist forests, open woodland, orchards, and shrubland.

Who do green-tailed sunbirds live with?

The green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) species is monogamous and the bird lives with its partner in the tropical, moist forests of India, Bhutan, Thailand, China, Bangladesh, and Laos.

How long does a green-tailed sunbird live?

The lifespan of these birds is unknown, but sunbirds usually live for 16-22 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding range of the green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) is observed in India, Nepal, and Thailand between April and June. This bird prefers breeding in flowering or tropical, moist forests.

The females usually build the nests, unlike the sociable weaver where both parents participate. The female bird builds the nest using green moss, bark shavings, caterpillar frass, and vegetable down with little to no help from the male.

It is neatly woven into oval-shaped nests with an opening on top, and these are suspended from the ends of tree branches. The female lays a clutch size of around two to three and the male protects the nests and helps when raising the fledglings.

What is their conservation status?

 The IUCN has declared the status of Least Concern for this bird species.

Green-Tailed Sunbird Fun Facts

What do green-tailed sunbirds look like?

The male and female green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) are sexually dimorphic and look quite the opposite of each other. The male is enveloped in a fabulous range of colors, while the female is almost monochrome.

The male has a shimmery, metallic blue head, greenish upper tail coverts, and nape that tapers into a long green-blue tail. It has a rich crimson shade band on the back of the neck and the breast.

The rump and lower back are mango yellow in color and the cheeks are black with a violet-purple gloss.

In contrast, the female has a blend of olive and brown shades. Her wings, back, and tail are rich olive and the head, neck, breast as well as underparts are dull-green-brown.

The young of these birds look similar to the female but have a brighter green head with yellow underparts and a small tail. This bird species of India and Thailand have black beady eyes, long curved beaks, and twig-like feet.

The green-tailed sunbird uses its long curved beak to suck nectar from flowers

How cute are they?

These tropical birds are tiny and adorable. The male showcases a wide range of vibrant iridescent colors. The female blends into the habitat with deep olive-brown feathers.

How do they communicate?

These birds have a sharp 'zit' call accompanied by a ringing, twittering sound.

How big is a green-tailed sunbird?

The green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) female is around 3.9 in (10 cm) and the male is around 5.9 in (15 cm). The female is about the same size as the Anna's hummingbird and the male is slightly smaller than a budgerigar.

How fast can a green-tailed sunbird fly?

The green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) is seen flying in quick, direct movements across the tropical moist forests of Thailand, India, and Nepal.

How much does a green-tailed sunbird weigh?

Due to a lack of studies, the exact weight of the green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) is unknown.

What are the male and female names of the species?

These Passeriformes birds (Aethopyga nipalensis) from the family Nectariniidae do not have separate names for their male and female counterparts. However, they do have eight subspecies with different scientific names.

The A. n. Horsfieldii, the A. n. koelzi, and the A. n. nipalensis subspecies are common in the Himalayas, Nepal, India, Bhutan, and China. The A. n. victoriae and the A. n. karenensis subspecies are found in Burma.

The A. n. angkanensis and the A. n. australis subspecies are from Thailand while the A. n. blanci and A. n. ezrai subspecies are found in Laos and Vietnam.

What would you call a baby green-tailed sunbird?

The baby green-tailed sunbird is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The diet of these birds and their subspecies is omnivorous. They feed on nectar, spiders such as water spiders and small arthropods.

Are they dangerous?

Neither the green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) nor its subspecies or other bird from the family Nectariniidae are harmful.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds are found in a range of forests and open woodlands across India, Nepal, and Thailand, meaning they are meant to be free in the wild.

Did you know...

There are around nine subspecies of the green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis).

What is the green-tailed sunbird's call?

The green-tailed sunbird (Aethopyga nipalensis) makes a quick 'zit' sounding call. Sometimes, they also call out in ringing twitters.

Why are they called sunbirds?

This tropical bird and its subspecies from all over the world especially found in regions of Ethiopia, Australia, India, and Thailand showcase gleaming metallic parts in their plumage. Additionally, most of them also have signature flaming yellow shades in their plumage, which could be the reason why they get the name sunbird.

The exact origin of the name is unknown, but this genus was recognized for its splendid plumage by natives of Asia.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our song thrush facts and purple finch facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable green tailed sunbird coloring pages.

nepal Indo-China region thailand laos vietnam myanmar bangladesh bhutan tibet

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

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Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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