In the mood for love

Here he is flashing his yellow breeding epaulettes.
Here he is flashing his yellow breeding epaulettes.
Mrs has a mouthful of spider's spun silk.
Mrs has a mouthful of spider’s spun silk.

The male sips nectar from erica verticulata.

Without his courting plumes.
Without his courting plumes.

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.

WPC: Jubilant


25 thoughts on “In the mood for love

    1. 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.

  1. 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.

    1. 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 ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.