Marungu Sunbird   BIRD
Marungu Sunbird
Marungu Sunbird
Scientific Name:
Nectarinia prigoginei
Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-US FWS: January 12, 1995
Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:
Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire)

The Marungu sunbird is only found in the Marungu highlands of southeastern Zaire which are situated to the west of the southern half of Lake Tanganyika. It is a very small bird, similar in size to the hummingbird with a long down-curved bill. Although they are completely unrelated, sunbirds behave very much like hummingbirds. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings, and although they prefer feeding while perched, many sunbird species can take nectar by hovering over plants.

This species is only found in a remnant riparian forest covering only a small part of the Marungu Highlands. It is believed that the species depends on this forest for its survival. Little is known about the behavior of this species. All sunbird species feed largely on nectar, although they will also feed on insects, especially when feeding their young. Most sunbirds are sedentary and are known to migrate short distances as the seasons change. Like hummingbirds, the males are usually much brighter and more brilliant in color. This species may lay two to three eggs in a purse-shaped suspended nest.

This species is threatened by loss of habitat due to logging, and the site where it is found is used extensively for cattle-raising, resulting in erosion of stream banks caused by overgrazing. To ensure protection for this species in the future, conservationists have proposed that forests found nearby be established as protected conservation areas.

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