Scarlet Chested Sunbird

The Scarlet Chested Sunbird is a dazzling bird species native to sub-Saharan Africa. With its vibrant plumage and delicate frame, it is a true marvel to behold.

Scarlet-chested Sunbird

©Rob Carr

Scarlet-chested Sunbird (m) - Track near Footsteps

©Rob Carr

Bird Information

Where can we see a Scarlet Chested Sunbird?

The two pictured above were shot at Footsteps but you can also see them at Abuko Nature Reserve. This lush sanctuary is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, providing an ideal habitat for a range of bird species.

Another recommended location is the Bijilo Forest Park, located near the coastal town of Bijilo. This compact yet biodiverse park offers a chance to spot the Scarlet-Chested Sunbird along with other bird species, such as the Beautiful Sunbird and Variable Sunbird.

Additionally, the Kotu Creek area, situated close to the popular tourist destination of Kotu, is another fantastic spot for birdwatching. This thriving wetland ecosystem serves as a haven for numerous bird species, including the Scarlet-Chested Sunbird.

Remember, it’s always advisable to visit these locations during the early morning or late afternoon when bird activity tends to be at its peak.

What does it look like?

The male Sunbird has a striking combination of scarlet red breast, glossy metallic green on the back, and a black head with a long, thin bill. It also has iridescent feathers on its throat that shimmer in the sunlight. The female, on the other hand, has a more muted appearance with mostly olive-green plumage.

What does it feed on?

It primarily feeds on nectar from various flowering plants. It has a long, curved bill that is perfectly suited for extracting nectar from flowers. Additionally, it also consumes small insects and spiders which provide a supplemental source of protein. This beautiful bird is known for its agility and ability to hover near flowers while feeding.

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

One interesting fact is that it has a specialised tongue that is adapted for drinking nectar from flowers. The tongue is long and tubular, allowing the sunbird to reach deep into flowers to access the sweet nectar. This unique adaptation enables the scarlet-chested sunbird to be an efficient pollinator, as it transfers pollen from flower to flower while feeding.

How does it sound?

When it comes to its vocalizations, the Scarlet-chested Sunbird produces a variety of distinct sounds. Its song is a pleasant combination of melodic trills, sweet chirps, and high-pitched notes. The male’s song is often described as a series of rapid and clear notes, delivered with a joyful and energetic tone.

The call of the Scarlet-chested Sunbird is a sharp “chit” or “chip” sound, which it uses for communication and to defend its territory. This call is typically short and repetitive, helping the bird establish its presence and warn other individuals.

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