Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Malachite Sunbird

Over the past weeks I've posted about our resident sunbird in the garden: the Malachite Sunbird. I've been watching the male since we returned home at the beginning of February. It displayed emerald green breeding plumage at the time but now it's in eclipse plumage. 
Instead of its striking metallic green plumage, the Malachite sunbird now sports a fading yellowish, speckled plumage

The Malachite Sunbird at 25 cm (male) and 15 cm (female), is a large sunbird. During breeding season, its bright metallic green plumage is unmistakable; the pectoral tufts are bright yellow. The female has a dull plumage with variable green-blotched underparts. The non-breeding plumage of the male resembles this. 
In the above photos, the Malachite Sunbird is perched on a thorn tree planted along the driveway in my front garden

 Last week I posted images female species of this bird drinking nectar from my aloes against the boundary wall

This sunbird feeds on nectar, insects, spiders and even small lizards. Its call is chep-chep followed by a rapid high-pitched tseepy- tseepy-tseepy. 

Readers of my recent posts about critters in our SA garden, will know that I have the correct food and habitat to attract sunbirds. 

Long may these pretty birds visit my garden.

I'm linking my post to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart Monkton here

Happy birding and happy Wednesday to all my Blogger friends! 


  1. Yes Jo You are fortunate to have them in your garden

  2. Fascinating that the colour changes so much!

  3. What beautiful birds! I've never heard of those. Is the male really that much bigger than the female? Interesting!

  4. Hi Mike, thanks for your question. It brought the post to my attention; I checked again; I'd made a typo. The female is 15cm! I changed it. Thanks:) Jo

  5. i wondered when i saw the other post why a green breasted bird was called a sunbird, now i can see why, yellow breast like the sunsine.

  6. A very special looking bird.

  7. Oh, he's a stunner! I loved seeing your photos of him!

  8. Beautiful bird, Jo... The Sunbird has a very long beak and a long tail.. WOW!!!! Love that one. Amazing about the colors.

  9. The beak is 1 1/2 times the size of the head.

  10. Perfect to plant the right things to invite in this gorgeous species.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo