Am being presumptuous in assuming you have already read my write ups  WINTER GUESTS and THE FEAST before you read this post and are thus well acquainted with the graceful DEMOISELLE CRANES.

Thus while at the Khurja Resort at Kichan  attempting to photograph these lovely Cranes flying  near  a cluster of  Milkweed ( or Aak in Hindi) shrubs, I spot a movement from the corner of my eyes.

However, these dainty guests from lands as far away as Turkey totally ECLIPSE your vision  in Kichan .

cranes land a sunbird
The Demoiselle Cranes and the Milkweed Shrub in front

A flash of blue and a brief movement of the flowers again diverts me and  compels me to  zoom onto the Milkweed shrub.

I was in for a lovely surprise indeed, a tiny  Purple Sunbird was flirting with the flowers of the Milkweed.

The Male Purple Sunbird ( English) ,Cinnyris asiaticus asiaticus ( Scientific name) or Mor Nektarkuşu ( Turkish) is captured on camera in ECLIPSE PLUMMAGE.( i.e: when they are not breeding) . Do see the picture below.

The male Sunbird is a light  canary yellow on the underside speckled with a brilliant glossy Royal Blue  Plumage on the back.

flower and me
The alert Camera glimpses a breathtaking Sunbird

The Purple Sunbird is Native to large tracts of Asia including Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and SouthEast Asia.

During the breeding when it is not “eclipsed” the plummage is a formal ALL black except when the sun rays bounce of its back revealing a Spectacular Glossy Blue.

The Sunbird is like the Hummingbirds of the Americas and can hover over flowers.

However this gentleman preferred to select a perch  ( lucky for photographer me) on the flowerstalk before it took a sip.

Had I  taken only the picture below it would be  difficult to identify the sex of the  Sunbird .The females have only a Yellow – dull brown plumage with no trace of the Royal Glossy Blue feathers seen on the male.

upside down
Is the bouquet for me ?

The Sunbird is an extremely vital pollinator for many species as it ensures fertilization carrying millions of pollen on its body and head.

The long curved scimitar like beak helps it drink  the nectar from the flowers of the Milkweed (  Scientific name Calotropis procera ) which grow allover in the deserts of Rajasthan.

This is another example of a  naturally occurring Symbiotic relationship.

Thank you I do not need a straw

The large leaves of the hardy Aak ( Hindi)  or Milkweed ( English) eclipse this solitary, beautiful  MALE  PURPLE SUNBIRD. Do check out previous blogs on this lifesaving Plant of the Desert titled THE DESERT BLOOMS and ENCHANTED BY THE RAIKA.

the flash of blue
The Sunbird has a drink in Solitude under cover.

It was a first for me to photograph this enchanting Sunbird in non breeding plumage that was  nearly ECLIPSED by the much larger , more numerous and very vocal  DEMOISSELE CRANES ( Khurja) .

Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.

18 thoughts on “ECLIPSED”

  1. I haven’t met before with this beautiful Sunbird. The colours are so beautiful. And also this tree with its flowers… They are all like in Heaven, or dreamy place 🙂 Thank you dear Mukul, I know now much more, where all beautiful Indian textile colours… I am crazy with this colourful world. Love, nia

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your lovely comments make me grateful to Nature. Thanks for seeing her beauty.I was actually more excited when I was writing the blog, it was then I realized the Sunbird was NOT the same i see at home. It had different colours.


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