Malachite Sunbird

The Malachite Sunbird, Nectarinia famosa is a small nectivorous bird found in the southern part of the Southern African region. The sunbirds are a group of small birds, and are placed within the family Nectariniidae, which is found across Africa, the Middle East and into South-east Asia. The breeding male Malachite Sunbird, which has very long central tail feathers, is 25cm long, and the shorter-tailed female 15 cm. The adult male is metallic green when breeding, with blackish green wings with small yellow pectoral patches. In non-breeding plumage, the males upperparts are brown apart from the green wings and tail, the latter retaining the elongated feathers. The underparts in are yellow, flecked with green. The female has brown upperparts and dull yellow underparts with some indistinct streaking on the breast. Her tail is square-ended. The juvenile resembles the female. This large sunbird is found in hilly fynbos (including protea stands as well as areas with aloes) and cool montane and coastal scrub. It also occurs in parks and gardens. It is resident, but may move downhill in winter. This species, like most sunbirds, feed mainly on nectar, although they will also take insects. This Malachite Sunbirds photo was taken at Schoenmakers Kop outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Malachite Sunbird

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