Difference in nesting ecology of purple sunbird Nectarinia asiatica among urban and rural habitats in New Delhi, India

Mazumdar A., Kumar P.

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The purple sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica) breeds in New Delhi, India, from February to May. A study of its nesting ecology in urban and rural areas of New Delhi revealed several differences. There was significant difference in time taken by female birds to build nests in urban and rural areas. Many urban nests had paper and wire pieces in them, a feature not observed among rural nests. Many urban nests were clumped around greener patches. In urban areas 40 nests were suspended from wires and pipes while others were suspended from twigs and branches of trees. However, all rural nests were suspended from thin branches and twigs of trees. There was significant difference in the height at which nests were built and their depth among rural and urban nests. Rural nests had significantly greater depth to support larger clutch sizes. Rural nests had significantly greater concealment than urban ones. Average egg/nest in urban and rural nests was 1.85 and 2.46 respectively. During incubation females were away from urban nests for significantly greater periods. Urban nests had significantly less hatching success, lower nesting and breeding success. Mortality was significantly higher in urban nests. We conclude that difference in breeding ecology in the two study areas was due to better food supply and nesting conditions in rural areas.