Cape Sugarbirds

A pair of Cape Sugarbirds swoop into a “pas de deux” pirouetting through the sky in a graceful aerobatic display.

This week’s WPC theme is “Dance”.

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24 thoughts on “Cape Sugarbirds

    1. Thanks Meg, yes their choreography in the midflight is quite a display! Patience – definitely required :). The trick is trying to anticipate their path flight – not so easy to get the timing right either.

  1. I’ve never seen a bird like this! What’s the purpose of the tail feathers? Aerodynamics? Mating? I’m going to google them to get the answers! I have no sense of their size from the photos. They look something like hummingbirds in body and beak. So unique and beautiful! Thank you, Liz!

    1. Aren’t they showy little critters! Their distribution is limited being endemic to the Cape fynbos vegetation. They’re bigger than a humming bird, the males, which is larger than the female, grows up to 44cm (18 inches) in length – tails included. The role of the tail feathers is rather fascinating. Exaggerated ornamentation is apparently related to ‘extrapair’ mating – in attracting the females’ attention. Some interesting info here – http://beheco.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/26.full

    1. Thanks, Mz Rosie. Isn’t great that we can just nip through the ether and land in a different destination through this wonderful blogosphere! I enjoyed a quick look at your ‘cool’ Toronto. So lovely creative items there.

    1. Thanks for commenting Theresa. Yes we’re fortunate their aerial displays are fabulous. They’re precious too … been reading that they’re succumbing to the effects of climate change. Being endemic their range is limited…. worrying.

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