Olive-backed Sunbird: Collecting nesting materials

posted in: Nesting, Sunbirds | 0

Fronting my house is a Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) tree that was replaced many months ago and the newly planted tree is supported by posts. The posts are being secured to the tree trunk with red nylon ropes. In an effort to ensure that the bark is not damaged, a piece of synthetic fabric was wrapped round the trunk.

The piece of fabric has since worn away by sun and rain, such that the fabric is fraying and the white fibres sticking out all over.


Of late, a female Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) has been seen around the tree fluttering about collecting the fibres, obviously for nesting materials (above). The moment it has a few fibres, it flies away, to return a few minutes later. It has been at the job for weeks now but I cannot say for certain whether it is the same bird or different birds.

The bird would fly to the tree, perch on the rope and vigorously peck at the fibres to dislodge them from the piece of fabric. It then flew off to add the few pieces of fibres to line its unfinished nest. Sometimes it would flutter around the piece of worn out fabric to collect a beak-full of choice fibres.

This is the beginning of the breeding season and time to start a family and the female sunbird is hard at work collecting nesting materials and constructing her nest, probably somewhere nearby.

YC Wee
February 2008

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