Thursday, March 23, 2017

Backyard birding

Variable Sunbird (Cinnyris venustus)


The Variable Sunbird is a fairly common resident breeder in equatorial Africa. Two eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. This species is found in open woodland and cultivation.  Variable sunbirds are small, only 10 cm long. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.  The adult male has a glossy green head, throat and nape, and a maroon breast band. In most subspecies, the belly of the male is yellow, but in a few it is orange or white. The female has gray-brown upperparts and yellowish underparts, and an obvious pale supercilium. The eclipse male is like the female, but shows some green, especially on the throat. The call is a clear tew-tew-tew-tew-tew .

Adult male

Adult female

Immature male

Immature male

Immature male