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The Dicæidæ or Flower-Pecker Family

Flower-peckers, like sunbirds, are feathered exquisites. The habits of the two families are very similar, save that flower-peckers dwell among the foliage of trees, while sunbirds, after the manner of butterflies, sip the nectar from flowers that grow near the ground.

Every hill-garden can boast of one or two flower-peckers. These are among the smallest birds in existence. They are as restless as they are diminutive. So restless are they that it is very difficult to follow their movements through field-glasses, and they are so tiny that without the aid of field-glasses it is difficult to see them among the foliage in which they live, move, and have their being. These elusive mites continually utter a sharp chick-chick-chick. Two species are common on the Nilgiris.

They are known as the Nilgiri flower-pecker (Dicæum concolor) and Tickell's flower-pecker (D. erythrorhynchus). The latter is the more numerous. Both are olive-green birds, paler below than above. Tickell's species has the bill yellow: in the other the beak is lavender blue.