Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Classic Cape Sugarbirds

Today I went to a remote valley where about a week ago I banded around 50 Orange-breasted Sunbirds in a valley full of Protea eximia. Today, there were hardly any sunbirds, but the Cape Sugarbirds were abundant. The males were looking spectacular now that they have completed their post-breeding moult. While I waited for stray birds to wander into my nets, I did a quick walk around to get some of these iconic Sugarbird on Protea photographs.  During the breeding season, a pair will defend a patch of proteas from other Sugarbirds - but now I observed up to five male Sugarbirds within meters of each other. They were still doing their display flights - whipping their tails up and down over their body, but probably just practicing for next season. The reason they all have a similar posture is due to the wind, which was blowing from the north - i.e. right to left with the sun at my back.

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