Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wildlife on Wednesday ... the Yellow-Bellied Sunbird.

Let me introduce you to the most commonly sighted bird in my garden and indeed, a well known and loved bird in the north of Oz.  I see these little guys and get to enjoy their beautiful song almost every day - it's Nectarina jugularis, the Yellow-Bellied Sunbird.

Here's the female Yellow-Bellied Sunbird with her long, slender curved black bill; her olive-yellow feathers on her back and wings; her deep yellow feathers below and her white tipped tail.

Here's the male with his long, slender curved black bill; his olive-yellow upper feathers; his deep yellow feathers below; his dark metallic purplish-blue bib and his white tipped tail.

Here's a better view of the male's fabulous blue bib ....

... and the top of his wing feathers.

Now you may have noticed that the sunbirds were feasting on the same flowers in all these photos.  These are the flowers of my Combretum constrictum.  I only have one Combretum growing near the corner of my front verandah and the sunbirds spend a lot of time nesting in this shrub and feeding on its nectar.  They seem to love the rather unusual blooms on this shrub.

So while we're rocking away on our rocking chairs in this corner of the verandah, these fabulous birds are flying almost within arm's reach of us.  It's delightful sitting there listening to their song while sipping on a cuppa.

While these birds seem to adore the Combretum's flowers, they also seem to love the blooms of the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis .....

.... and the tubular blooms on this Russelia.

Can you see a common theme here?  Yes ... red!  They seem to adore the nectar from red flowers.

The female Yellow-Bellied Sunbird constructs the most amazingly decorated and elaborate nest ... and they don't mind building them close to the homes of humans.  This one was built on one of my hanging plants just outside my kitchen window.

Now as fate would have it ... I had been planning to make the Sunbird the topic of this Wednesday's post for a week now and just this afternoon I had the opportunity to capture the male Sunbird's song.  The quality of the video is not great, but you do get to hear the song quite well ... so enjoy!  Just click on this link .....
Song of the male Yellow-Bellied Sunbird


  1. What a beautiful bird and a great post! I love that complicated nest it builds.

  2. Bernie, I love your wildlife on Wednesday posts. The Sunbirds are gorgeous. I'm impressed that even the female is so colorful, and the male looks like he's decked out in formal wear with that bib. As for that adorable! And a great photo too. I think in the video the male is shouting to the world about just how handsome he is!

  3. Magnificent photos of Sunbird and blooms! Such amazing flora, and what a delightful bird. The nest is the perfect 'sculpture' to gaze upon from your kitchen, I expect!

  4. Wow, I am not sure who is prettier the bird or the flowers!


  5. I love that little bird! :D

  6. Magnificent little bird. The Ungardener is busy building a 'nectar' feeder. Do you feed your sunbirds? Or do you prefer to plant for them, like me?

  7. Thanks everyone for your comments ... they are indeed beautiful little birds.

    Elephant's Eye ... no I don't put out feed for any of the birds here. They feed off the environment ... whether it be the insects, the nectar from the flowers or the few snails. These birds are wild in every sense ... not dependent on me for food at all.

  8. amazing photographs, how fabulous to have the wild right on your window sill!

  9. Bernie,
    lovely post, thanks for sharing, great photos. I never get tired of seeing them in my garden, here they love the passionfruit flowers and cats whiskers, so I think they like nectar no matter what colour the cup is!

  10. These birds are gorgeous, and you've captured them beautifully Bernie! I can just picture you sitting there watching them from your porch.

  11. This is a delightful bird, and I see why you like it. Your photos are great, I enjoyed the video, and I really like your pretty red flowers!

  12. What a magnificent bird Bernie! Now I'm jealous of your Queensland garden and it's wildlife all over again!

  13. I wish those gorgeous birds lived here in Texas! Reading about them, though, I see that they are compared to our hummingbirds in terms of their feeding habits. Pretty cool, and really wonderful photos.

  14. Hello Bernie, I really enjoy reading your posts and seeing the varied wildlife and plants in your garden! Enjoy your weekend :-)

  15. Oh my goodness! What a beauty!!! I have been "trying" to get some bird shots! It never fails when I am outside and see them, I never have my camera with me, and by the time I go inside to get my camera, they are gone!!! Maybe I should have a stake out!


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