Sun Birds of Southern Africa

Posted on Sat May 27, 2023.

Southern Africa is home to several beautiful species of sunbirds, which are small, colourful birds known for their vibrant plumage and long, curved bills. Here are some notable sunbird species found in Southern Africa:

Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa): This striking sunbird is known for its iridescent green plumage and long, thin bill. The male has a bright metallic green head, back, and breast, while the female has more subdued colors. They are found in woodland and fynbos habitats across southern Africa.

Southern Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus): This sunbird species has a distinctive double collar of contrasting colors on its throat. The male has a glossy metallic green head and back, while the female is duller with olive-green plumage. They are commonly found in gardens, forests, and coastal areas.

Greater Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris afer): Similar in appearance to the Southern Double-collared Sunbird, the Greater Double-collared Sunbird has a larger size and longer bill. The male has a glossy metallic green head, back, and breast, with a double collar of bright red and yellow on its throat. They inhabit a variety of habitats, including fynbos, forests, and gardens.

Scarlet-chested Sunbird (Chalcomitra senegalensis): As the name suggests, the male of this species displays a vibrant scarlet chest, contrasting with its metallic green back and head. The female has olive-brown plumage. Scarlet-chested Sunbirds are found in woodlands and savannahs across Southern Africa.

Amethyst Sunbird (Chalcomitra amethystina): This sunbird species is known for its stunning amethyst-colored throat and breast in males, while the rest of their plumage is mainly green. The female has a grayish-brown plumage. Amethyst Sunbirds inhabit montane and coastal forests.

Collared Sunbird (Hedydipna collaris): The Collared Sunbird is a small sunbird with olive-green plumage and a distinct collar of bright yellow on its throat. The female is slightly duller in color. They are commonly found in riverine forests and coastal thickets.

These are just a few examples of the sunbird species you can find in Southern Africa. Each species has its own unique beauty and behavior, making them a joy to observe and photograph. When photographing sunbirds, patience, a telephoto lens, and a good knowledge of their habitats and feeding habits can greatly enhance your chances of capturing their vibrant colors and intricate details.

This post highlights some of fun and interesting facts. To see these amazing animals for yourself come visit Kruger National Park and stay at Needles Lodge, your luxury safari accommodation right on Kruger’s doorstep! The best accommodation in Marloth Park.