I finally had the opportunity to get photos of my local sunbird. The couple come back every year and nest in the same tree. He is a malachite green – it also looks blue sometimes in the light! He is a noisy bird and fights off all possible intruders – the local yellow weaver and the fiskal shrike (butcher bird). He chases them all around the garden, so I am assuming that there are baby birds. I also got a photo of the female, who is very scarse. They love my big protea bush in the front garden.
The sunbirds and spiderhunters are a family, Nectariniidae, of very small passerine birds. The family is distributed throughout Africa, southern Asia and just reaches northern Australia. Most sunbirds feed largely on nectar, but also take insects and spiders, especially when feeding young. Fruit is also part of the diet of some species. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings.
The sunbirds have counterparts in two very distantly related groups: the hummingbirds of the Americas and the honeyeaters of Australia. The resemblances are due to convergent evolution brought about by a similar nectar-feeding lifestyle. Some sunbird species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. – from Wikipedia.
I would be interested to know what an immature sunbird looks like. I am keen to see the new family and get a shot of the new addition. I’ll keep you posted.
I hope you enjoyed the photos xxx