Nectarinia thomensis Barbosa du Bocage, 1889, St. Miguel, Sгo Tomй.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Giant sunbird, Sгo tomй giant sunbird, dusky sгo tomй sunbird; French: Souimanga de sгo tomй; German: Riesennektarvogel; Spanish: Nectarina de Santo Tomй.
Male 7.9–9 in (20–23 cm), female 7.1–7.5 in (18–19 cm); male 0.92 oz (26 g), female 0.63–0.67 oz (18.0–18.9 g). Largest of the sunbirds, with long bill and tail feathers. Dark purplish upperparts with brown belly and breast. White-tipped tail.
Montane forest, secondary forest, scrub along streams, and cultivations.
Usually occurs singly or in pairs, but up to seven birds may congregate at flowers. Constantly moves from plant to plant, and sometimes feeds on bark of trees like a treecreeper (Certhia sp.).
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Gleans leaves for insects, hovers beneath leaves to feed, probes bark and flowers. Food consists of insects, nectar, and fruit pulp.
Territorial. Possibly polygynous. Two long white eggs with red spots, laid September through January in nest suspended from end of branch. Nest made of moss and plant fibers with small porch and long trailing “beard” of plant fibers below base.
Vulnerable. Restricted to forests of Sгo Tomй and threatened by forest clearances.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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