Tag Archive: sunbirds

Orange Breasted Sunbird

The Orange-breasted Sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea, in this case the female, is the only member of the bird genus Anthobaphes although it is sometimes placed in the genus Nectarinia. This sunbird is endemic to the fynbos habitat of southern South Africa, but also occurs in parks and gardens. As with other sunbirds the bill is long and decurved, that of the male being longer than that of the female. The bill, legs and feet are black. The eye is dark brown. The head, throat and mantle of the male are bright metallic green. The rest of the upperparts are olive green. The upper breast is metallic violet and the lower breast is bright orange, fading to paler orange and yellow on the belly. The tail is long and blackish, with elongated central tail feathers, which extend some way, belong the other feathers. The female has olive-greenish grey upperparts and olive yellowish underparts, paler on the belly. The wings and tail is blackish. The juvenile resembles the female. The call is a twangy, weak ssharaynk or sskrang, often repeated several times. The Orange-breasted Sunbird subsists on flower nectar, insects and spiders. It breeds typically in May. The male defends its territory aggressively, attacking and chasing intruders. This photo was taken in Schoemakers Kop outside Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Orange Breasted Sunbird

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

Greater Double Collared Sunbird

The Greater Double Collared SunbirdCinnyris Afer is a sunbird similar to the Southern Lesser Double Collared Sunbird, but is distinguished by its Longer bill and wider red breast band. These sunbirds mainly habitat the fynbos, forests and coastal bush areas. Endemic to southern Africa, occurring from the far south of Namibia to South Africa, with the bulk of its population centered around the Western Cape extending east and north to KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province. It generally prefers fynbos and Karoo shrubland, woodland, Afromontane forest, gardens and Eucalyptus plantations. They mainly feeds on nectar, supplemented with athropods, gleaning prey from vegetation and spider webs and hawking insects aerially. The Afrikaans Name for this is the Groot Rooibandsuikerbekkie

Greater Double Collared Sunbird

Southern (Lesser) Double Collared Sunbird

The Southern (Lesser) Double Collared SunbirdCinnyris Chalybeus is a beautiful bird similar to the Greater Double Collared Sunbird, but is distinguished by its shorter bill and narrower red breast band. These sunbirds mainly habitat the fynbos, forests and coastal bush areas. Endemic to southern Africa, occurring from the far south of Namibia to South Africa, with the bulk of its population centered around the Western Cape extending east and north to KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province. It generally prefers fynbos and Karoo shrubland, woodland, Afromontane forest, gardens and Eucalyptus plantations. They mainly feeds on nectar, supplemented with athropods, gleaning prey from vegetation and spider webs and hawking insects aerially.

Southern (Lesser) Double Collared Sunbird