The purple sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus) is a small bird in the sunbird family found mainly in South and Southeast Asia but extending west into parts of the Arabian peninsula. Like other sunbirds they feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. They have a fast and direct flight and can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird but often perch at the base of flowers. The males can appear all black in harsh sunlight but the purple iridescence is visible on closer observation or under good light conditions. Females are olive above and yellowish below. This small sunbird has a relatively short bill, a dark and short square ended tail with distinctive sexual dimorphism. Less than 10 cm long they have a down-curved bill with brush-tipped tubular tongues that aid in nectar feeding. The male is glossy metallic bluish to purplish black on the upper parts with the wings appearing dark brown. The breeding male also has underparts of the same purplish black, but non-breeding males may show a central streak of black on yellow underparts. The species is distributed widely from West Asia through the Indian subcontinent and into Southeast Asia. They are resident birds in most parts of their range and do not move large distances. They are found in thin forest and garden land, including those in dense urban areas. Local movements are, however, noted especially in the drier parts of northwestern India and Pakistan where they are said to arrive in large numbers before summer. Sunbirds have been known to live for nearly 22 years in captivity.