I am not a hummingbird!

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Many visitors to Siargao tell me they’ve seen a few hummingbirds around the island. However, the hummingbird’s range is actually restricted to the Western Hemisphere. What’s actually being referred to is the Olive-backed sunbird, which you’ll find in great numbers around the island. They’re the birds I see in my backyard more than any other. This is the male of the species:

Olive-backed sunbird
Male Olive’backed sunbird

The female is plainer and lacks the metallic iridescent breast and head of the male:

Olive-backed sunbird
Female Olive-backed sunbird.
Female Olive-backed sunbird
Female Olive-backed sunbird

“Tamsi” is the common name for these birds in the Philippines but they’re known locally as “siwit” which is a fair representation of their familiar call.

We’ve made some DIY sunbird feeders from poultry waterers from the agri-vet and some barbecue sticks for perches. I’ll be posting a photo-how-to on that soon and maybe you’ll be inspired to make your own!


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