Sun Bird, the name commonly given to the promeropidoe, a family of tenuirostral birds, with a long, slender, and usually curved bill, the nostrils placed at the base and covered with a scale, wings of moderate size, and short tarsi covered with broad scales. They inhabit the tropical regions of both hemispheres; the subfamily promeropinoe, including by far the most species, is confined to the old world, and the coerebinoe to the new. The true sun birds belong to the former, and have a long, slender, curled, and sharp bill, sometimes finely serrated on the margins; the tail is long, the central feathers often exceeding the rest. They are found in the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans, and on the continents of Africa and Asia; they are the humming birds of the old world, having similar habits and the same brilliant colors, but are larger. The genus necta-rinia (Illig.) contains more than 100 species, mostly African. The nest, of an elegant form, is usually suspended from the end of a twig, with an opening at the side; the eggs are two to four. The coerebinoa or guitguits have a shorter, broader, and nearly straight bill, and long pointed wings; they are found in tropical South America and the West Indies; the plumage is very beautiful.

The nest is protected by a long funnel or by two compartments against insects, birds, serpents, and lizards.

Fiery tailed Sun Bird (Nectarinia ignicauda).

Fiery-tailed Sun Bird (Nectarinia ignicauda).