Bird of the Week – Collared sunbird

Collared sunbird

BY BRUCE MUNRO

DISTRIBUTED along the East Coast from Port Elizabeth to Mozambique and extending into the Limpopo and Zambezi river valleys, the collared sunbird is a locally common sunbird which loves riverine and evergreen lowland forest and coastal bush, especially with tangled creepers.

They are almost always in pairs and join in with mixed bird parties.

Highly inquisitive, they respond to ‘spishing’ or nature calling.

They forage in creepers, sometimes hover to take food and hawk insects while in flight. The collared sunbird’s food preference is nectar, insects, spiders, snails and small berries.

Breeding takes place from September to January. They lay two to three eggs in many pale shades in an oval nest of grass, leaves, twigs, rootlets and tendrils. For binding they will use wiry plant fibres, horsehair, rootlets and feathers.

Incubation is 14 days and nestlings remain for 17 days.

The Zulu name is iNqwathane and Afrikaans it is known as kortbeksuikerbekkie.

 

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