Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Beauties of the Bird Feeder

Since I like to illustrate blog posts with pretty pictures, the blog stream has been suffering recently as winter and too much laptop time have left the camera feeling rusty. To take a snap and to snap out of it I made the most of some winter light and a colourful bird feeder to reassure you all I'm still on the go. The Cape Bulbul has just learnt to use the feeder, which has been property of the Cape Weavers and Amethyst Sunbirds up until this point. Cape Sugarbirds are still feasting on the proteas on the hillside and have not visited the cherry flavoured sugar water yet. Greater Double-collared Sunbird and Malachite Sunbirds have been the only other visitors to date.
The sugar water feeders are home made - Vitamin water bottles have a good shape for tying on some wire, and the soft lid is easy to pierce in order to insert a 15mm elbow joint normally used to couple irrigation pipe together. The solution is a cup of sugar to a liter of water, with a table spoon of cherry flavoured isotonic Game sports drink. Sure keeps the birds on the go. I'm also confident this mix is not harming the birds - all of them are ringed (see the Amethysts below) and they keep coming back.

Cape Bulbul
Amethyst Sunbirds - ladies last in their world apparently

Cape Weaver - splendid breeding plumage male
Female Cape Weaver


  1. No sugar water feeders in our garden, but flowers for the sunbirds and weavers. The weavers seem to rip off the flowers, since they can't get into the trumpets of the aloes and Cotyledon orbiculata. How does that work for the ecological relationship between birds and flowers? The sunbirds could come back tomorrow and feed from the flowers. The weavers want it ALL, NOW!

    1. Hi Diana, I admire your gardening efforts - mine fall some way short. Cape Weavers and Streaky-headed Seedeaters can be very destructive feeders, and it isn't good for the reproductive ecology of the plants of course. Or for the sunbirds. That's competition for you - doesn't always seem that fair.


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