Avifauna of Southern Africa - Sunbirds

Avifauna of Southern Africa - Sunbirds - Southern Africa : Group all Sunbirds (Family: Nectariniidae) of Southern Africa together to facilitate identification. The sunbirds and spiderhunters make up a family, Nectariniidae, of passerine birds. They are small, slender passerines from Old World, with long, usual

Group all Sunbirds (Family: Nectariniidae) of Southern Africa together to facilitate identification.

The sunbirds and spiderhunters make up a family, Nectariniidae, of passerine birds. They are small, slender passerines from Old World, with long, usually decurved bill and some species with long tail; many brightly coloured, most with some iridescence, particularly in male. They are living from Africa to Australia, across Madagascar, Egypt, Iran, Yemen, Southern China, Indian subcontinent, Indochinese peninsulas, Philippines, Southeast Asian to nearby Pacific Islands and just reaches northern Australia. The number of species is greater in equatorial and tropical areas.

There are 132 species in 15 genera. The family is distributed throughout Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and just reaches northern Australia. Most sunbirds feed largely on nectar, but also take insects and spiders, especially when feeding young. Flower tubes that bar access to nectar because of their shape, are simply punctured at the base near the nectaries. Fruit is also part of the diet of some species. Their flight is fast and direct on their short wings.

The sunbirds have counterparts in two very distantly related groups: the hummingbirds of the Americas and the honeyeaters of Australia. The resemblances are due to convergent evolution brought about by a similar nectar-feeding lifestyle. Some sunbird species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but they usually perch to feed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbird

16 Aug 2015
Shaun Swanepoel