Thursday, September 9, 2010

Birds of the sun

The yellow-bellied Sunbird, Nectorinia jugularis is a real star here in the tropics.
Male sunbird
with dark blue-black feathers on throat
About 2 weeks ago a couple of sunbirds were checking out the real estate at my place but decided not to build here. 
They have built their nest elsewhere though because the male is feeding alone, which means his partner is caring for the chicks. She usually comes out later for a feed and both mother and father bird assist in feeding their young.

Today, September 9th is the first time  since nesting began where I have noticed the mother appear along with the father out feeding again.

The exotic passiflore they love grow outside my work window so I see them feed several times every day. 

I spray the the leaves of the torch ginger, Etlingera elatior with the hose and they bathe in the water drops nestled on the leaf. They turn it into a bit of a roller-coaster ride the way they slide up and down these leaves. Very entertaining to watch.
I have never seen them use the birdbath placed nearby for other species.

Sunbirds, originally from the mangroves, have adapted well to our urban life.

Nesting close to us humans is to protect their young from predatory species who are nervous about approaching our territory. 

They lead a nectarivorous lifestyle coming from the family Nectoriniidae. They are the only representative from this family in Australia and exist only along a narrow range of the northern tropics, from Cape York to Gladstone, QLD.

Their bill is long and slender to sip nectar from tubular-shaped flowers and they feed their young with nectar and insects. They check my windows for spiders every morning when attending to their routine food gathering. 
Great way for observing them closely.

Their call is a high-pitched dzit dzit or a hissing whistle, tss-ss-ss. Try it yourself!

torch ginger


photos of sunbirds used with kind permission from Uta Heidelhauf, Copyright.

1 comment:

  1. Thats a lovely post Magda :-) That ginger and the birds are beautiful!


Thanks for dropping in....