Beautiful Sunbird

Beautiful Sunbird so named because they are so beautiful. Another one of our regulars, we have a lot of flowers at Footsteps and these little birds love flowers. Many years ago before I really started knowing what species we had at our lodge. I remember thinking that this was a humming-bird. You could be forgiven for thinking so because they beat their wings close to 80 times per second.

Beautiful Sunbird
©Jan Erik Roer | Beautiful Sunbird coming in to feed on Nectar
Beautiful Sunbird
©Jan Erik Roer | Beautiful Sunbird

Where is the Beautiful Sunbird found?

As mentioned earlier, this little bird is a daily visitor at Footsteps

Outside of Gambia they are in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar but are also distributed in Egypt. They are also found In Asia and along the coasts of the Red Sea as far north as Israel. Not to be found on oceanic islands, except for Seychelles. However, the largest variety of species are in Africa, where they probably originated. Source Wikipedia

In Gambia for example this delightful bird is widespread and also generally fairly common in forest interiors.

What does it look like?

They are small, slender birds, with downward-curved bills perfect for extracting the nectar from colourful flowers. They are brightly coloured, with iridescent green feathers, particularly in the male.

What does it feed on?

They feed mainly on nectar from flowers but also will eat insects too.

Want to know an interesting Factoid or two?

Your so vain sung by Carly Simon could have been written for this bird, they love to look at their reflection in mirrors. They are also known to steal nectar, using their long curved bill to puncture the base of the flower without touching the pollination structure. This constitutes a violation of nature’s agreement between flower and pollinator.

How does it sound?

Not known for their singing ability they make a repeated Chip, Chip sound.

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