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Sunbird: Malachite - behaviour

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 2:33 pm
Location: Paarl

Sunbird: Malachite - behaviour

Unread post by pnm » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:27 pm

I took this photo this afternoon on Paarl Mountain. Is the smaller bird a female or a juvenile? I suspect juvenile given the rather yellow base of the gape, but the behaviour made me wonder. The smaller bird was feeding wuite happiloy on nectar when the male suddenly perched about 15cm from it. It immediately crouched and remained so for the minute or so they were togther. the smaller bird ondlty had its beak open for a very brief moment but it remained crouched. the male seemed taken aback at the behaviour and was standoffish. It then flew off whereupon the smaller bird continued feeding.

i hope the photo is OK - it is the first time I am using Photobucket instead of Tinypic and I am struggling toget the post to take as the message keeps coming up that the photo is more thn 800 wide (no matter how I try to reduce it - should I rahter move to Flickr?) three queries now!

Many thanks - Pete


Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:20 pm
Location: Slaap Stad

Re: Sunbird: Malachite - behaviour

Unread post by Nick_14 » Thu Oct 07, 2010 3:53 pm

It certainly looks like a juvenile to me. Perhaps it wasn't his chick though. Juvenile birds will try to get free food out of anyone though :)

Males have intersecting territories but from what I see they'll grudgingly share good spots for food, I have 3 different pairs who visit my garden each day to yell at each other, so seeing a strange male in another birds territory probably isn't that unusual.

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