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Sunbird in the Hibiscus

I’ve been going on about how I’m trying to make my garden more hospitable to birds. I’ve been providing water in the form of bird baths and nectar feeders, I have a small bird house on which I leave seeds and pieces of fruit which they are eating and am researching which plants to get (that I don’t already have) to attract different birds to my garden.

Today I had a brief interlude with a Witoogie and then joy of joys, what appears to be a juvenile sunbird gave me a five minute show and allowed me to take a few photographs. There were quite a few of them in the tree but only this one was in photographing distance – How cute is this bird?

Gorgeous Sunbird

The interesting chest markings make me think its an immature sunbird. It hasn’t got the typical bright colouring of a sunbird yet – it still has some downy feathers (which you can see more clearly if you click to enlarge the sixth photo below) and then it has these red blotches on its chest, which make me think its still immature and developing its markings? I really have no idea, I’m assuming this of course.

[one_half]Sunbird lands on the branchSunbird lands on the branch[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Settling down on the branchSettling down on the branch[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Looking around ….Looking around ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Then looking upwards …Then looking upwards ...[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Another look aroundAnother look around[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and then it took off againand then it took off again[/one_half_last]

And then the Witoogies

Then I had brief encounter with a Witoogie – they love to eat aphids and I seem to supply those in abundance so have lots of visits from these cuties. One on the Hibiscus and then later, two in the front garden.

[one_half]Witoogie in the HibiscusWitoogie in the Hibiscus[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Poking around for what?Poking around for what?[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Uh oh, he spotted me!Uh oh, he spotted me![/one_half]

[one_half_last]I see the fruit needs replenishingI see the fruit needs replenishing[/one_half_last]

[one_half]First there is one …First there is one ...[/one_half]

[one_half_last]and then there were twoand then there were two[/one_half_last]

This info on Sunbirds from Wikipedia:
The sunbirds and spiderhunters are a family, Nectariniidae, of very small passerine birds. There are 132 species in 15 genera. 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. Flower tubes that bar access to nectar because of their shape, are simply punctured at the base near the nectaries. 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.

Happy Gardening

By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

11 replies on “Sunbird in the Hibiscus”

Oh WOW!! This is a major event – being a bird person myself! I also agree it is an immature sunbird, so a nest must be nearby! How fun is that ?!! Sounds like you too are hooked! 🙂

You won’t believe, but the same little sunbird comes back every day at the same time more or less and sits on that branch, looks around, then goes back to the other side. Its like he’s visiting me. 🙂

I have a wonbderful spot out on my back terrace where Dexter will lie quietly and let me photograph – and its where the birds all congregate. So its been really great. Seeing so many more now – I’m tempted to get a great feeder like yours!

You have really interesting birds and having them come visit you is a wonderful thing. I find birding relaxing, yet I don’t know or see that much in colorful variety here. Really it is just a handful of bird types visiting my garden and I am hoping, like you, to get a few more. I know if it were a hobby and I went with others I could see and learn more. But that takes mounds of patience to bird watch and I am not sure I can fit that bill.

Hi Donna – I agree totally. I enjoy watching the birds in my own garden. Trekking out with others in search of them is not my thing. I want to attract them to come to MY garden – that gives me pleasure! So far my bird visitors are nothing “special” (in the eyes of serious birders) but to me they are incredibly special and sweet 🙂

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