The little Cape sunbirds which flit to and fro over the backyard wall sport the most amazing colours. There are three species: the Malachites, Orange-breasted and the Southern double-collared. The males are fabulously attired, their iridescent colours sparkle in the sunlight and we marvel at the extraordinary beauty. The Orange-breasted males really do steal the show, they are gorgeous. We’re attuned to their “chat” and the various calls between the species. Yesterday’s tweets took on a different mood – a jubilant, joyous kind of crowing, and there flaunting his yellow breeding epaulettes was a jaunty little Orange-breasted male. Mrs was building a nest in full view of our diningroom window and there he was displaying. Curiously when feeding the yellow epaulettes were retracted, tucked back under his wings. Bang on time too, their breeding season coincides with the ericas (heath) blossoming over winter.
25 thoughts on “In the mood for love”
Beautiful birds and photos.
Thanks Stephen; have planted indigenous plants in the garden which is paying off now with a variety of feathered visitors being attracted in.
The next to last photo is beautiful!
Thanks Gilly, i’m happy to have got that shot. It’s newly planted and to see a sunbird visiting it was like a double welcome.
Wow, gorgeous birds and fantastic shots!
Thanks Karen. They’re a delight to watch 🙂 Their nest building is coming along nicely.
Wonderful post, Liz! Beautiful birds! Mating season is so exciting in the bird world!
Thanks Mary – love the ritual and the posturing 🙂
Aren’t they gorgeous? I really like the one with the erica – shows just how small these birds are. But all are stunning Liz.
Thanks Jude; chuffed to see the bird visiting that erica. It’s a new shrub in our garden – a rare variety (erica verticulata) – bought from Kirstenbosch and holding thumbs it will settle in happily.
Beautiful pics Liz, the sunbird are such delicate and stunningly beautiful little birds. We have one variety, the yellow-bellied sunbird in the northern regions of our continent. I ove the way they put their beak into tubular flowers which are the same size as they are.
Thanks – yes it’s intriguing how the curved bills and tubular flowers match.
Excellent pics and narrative Liz. At first glance I thought I was looking at an exotic hummingbird species. Always learning!
Yes i guess there’s that Western/Eastern hemisphere split in the distribution between the hummingbirds versus the sunbirds. Similar to the Wallace Line – marsupials eastwards and mammals west ?
I’m at a loss for words; these are phenomenal. Where were these taken?
I’m following your blog now. 🙂
Thanks for your support. I’m based in Cape Town – and i’m happy to say that the nest building is happening in my backgarden 🙂
Fabulous! Magnifiques photos!
Thanks Daisy. Aren’t those colours amazing?!
What absolutely beautiful creatures of nature. Just stunning.
Love the iridescent sheen on this little show-off.