Double-Collared Sunbird - love is in the air!
Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me in the way harmony is maintained by ensuring the perfect balance between species, between predator and prey - it is AMAZING! I recently experienced the “softer” side of nature in terms of birds “fighting” for breeding rights and thereby ensuring their bloodline continues!
I was out testing my new camera gear by photographing birds at my local Botanical Garden when all of a sudden the behaviour of the Double-collared Sunbirds changed from passively feeding on the nectar of protea flowers to a frantic game of chase - I soon realized that other male birds had arrived and were now also competing for the female’s attention.
The male birds were darting from bush to bush squawking at each other whilst the female continued to focus her attention on the nectar, seemingly uninterested in the macho game of chase - at times I found myself ducking as they flew past my head - you just do not realize how fast these little birds are till you are so close that you hear their wings flapping at ridiculous speeds!
Mother Nature provides an extra twist to further elevate the testosterone levels between competing male birds by changing the colour of some of the feathers indicating the readiness to mate/breed - anything to woo a female!
I guess it is no different than a man dressing in his best outfit and buying colourful flowers to give to his date/partner - any attempt to appear more attractive than the next man!
The photo below is a male Double-collared Sunbird without breeding colours:
Below is a male Double-collared Sunbird in breeding colours - notice the yellow feathers!
So I encourage you to simply stop and open your eyes and ears to nature the next time you are walking in your garden - I promise you will not be disappointed!
Till next time…