Fires-breasted Flowerpecker Dicaeum ignipectus
- Dicaeum: Greek word dikaion meaning an Indian bird
- Ignipectus : Latin word Igni – Red, Fire ; Pectus – Breast
Vernacular Names: Lepcha: Sangti-pro-pho
Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas and hills of North East India.
Description: Size of 8-9 cm. The male of nominate race has a crown and upperparts metallic greenish blue-black; face black; throat buffy white, side of breast black, scarlet patch on breast, rest of underparts rich buff, black stripe in center of belly, flanks olive, lower belly and undertail-coverts yellow; iris brown or black; bill black, sometimes whitish patch at base of lower mandible; legs dark horn-coloured or black. The female has crown greyish-olive, upperparts olive-green, more yellow on rump and uppertail-coverts, lores buffy white, narrow pale eyering; underparts pale buff to cinnamon-buff, with olive wash on flanks; bill black, yellow to orange patch at base of lower mandible.
Habitat: It is found in montane forest, hill forest, subtropical evergreen and deciduous oak forests, disturbed forest, forest edge, and in Rhododendrons, secondary growth, orchards, plantations and other cultivations, around flowering and fruiting trees, and particularly around mistletoes. In Himalayas found at 900 m–3950 m in summer and down to 300 m in winter.
Food Habits: It eats fruits and nectar, particularly of mistletoes and figs, spiders and insects. It forages generally in canopy or middle storey. It forages singly and in pairs; outside breeding season sometimes in small groups and in mixed-species flocks.
Breeding Habits: They breeds in Mar-June in India. The nest is an oval purse with entrance hole on side near top, with or without porch, constructed from soft vegetable down held together with rootlets, spider webs and grass, sometimes decorated with moss, suspended above ground from branch of small tree. It lays a clutch of 2–3 eggs.