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News / 2 November 2016

The Neergaard’s Sunbird


In birding terms, a lifer is a South African species of bird that birders make special trips to see in small areas where they are regarded as being locally common. They are known as "lifers" because you are most likely to only see this bird once in a lifetime!


Did You Know?

The Neergaard's sunbird is a small species with a relatively short beak. The adult male has a metallic green head, back and throat, black wings, a blue rump and a brownish-black tail. It has yellow pectoral tufts, a narrow blue collar, a scarlet lower breast and a black belly. The adult female has a greyish-brown head and upper parts, an olive-brown rump and dark brown tail.

  • The nest is made of cream-coloured fibrous material, feathers and down, and camouflaged with insect larvae and other debris.
  • The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.
  • This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.
  • The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.


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