Bathing Sunbirds

posted in: Feathers-maintenance, Sunbirds | 4

I have spent many a day watching beautiful sunbirds flirting about the gardens of both my grandparents at Siglap and Serangoon Gardens. I can distinguish two species – the Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) and the Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis). They have stunning colours, particularly in the sunlight. They often drank nectar from the various flowering plants in both gardens.

Both my grandfathers love gardening and lovingly look after a wide variety of plants. Each evening, they watered all of them. During and after these watering periods, the sunbirds came around to bathe in the tiny pools of water collected on the leaves. They chirped while ruffling their feathers in the moisture. They seemed to really enjoy themselves.

They often fought for the best pool of water to bathe in. While taking their bath, they also dipped their bills and drank to their heart’s content. The various sunbirds flew from plant to plant, bathing in each pool of water left behind after the plant watering session. Watching them flying about and playing was definitely a beautiful sight!

Serin Subaraj is a 10 year-old naturalist.


4 Responses

  1. […] that Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) and Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) leaf bathed as soon as his grandfather finished watering the plants in the […]

  2. […] have earlier documented the Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) taking a leaf bath as well as other species like Yellow-vented Bulbul […]

  3. […] Bird Ecology Study Group Bathing SunbirdsI can distinguish two species – the Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) and the […]

  4. […] Sunbirds also visit just after rain. They come and have a series of quick baths using the droplets that collect on the surface of the large leaves, see Bathing Sunbirds. […]


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