Brown-Throated Sunbird in comfort behaviour

posted in: Comfort behaviour, Sunbirds | 9

“Recently, a male Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) regularly visits my bougainvillea plant. Some stems of this plant, which is planted in a pot placed at the common corridor, had grown out of the high-rise flat. A bare stem that was outside the parapet wall had become the sunbird’s favourite perch.

“Last Sunday, the loud and cheerful chirping announced the arrival of this sunbird. From a room in my flat, the sunbird could be observed from close range. At a little more than 2 metres away and less than a metre below the level of the window sill, I had a great view.

“It was a cloudy day and ideal for taking pictures. Slowly, I opened the sliding window and took up position. I had to stick my camera out of the window; thus exposing my presence to this individual. However, this sunbird seemed at home and comfortable; totally ignoring me as I clicked away. Occasionally, it would chirp and look around – even looking straight at me and my camera. There was no sign of distress as it preened, stretched, and indulged in comfort behaviour (above, below).

“On that Sunday, the sunbird visited at least three times: at 11:54 am (4 minutes), 12:56 pm (15 minutes) and 1:59 pm (6 minutes). 

In real life, the hues and colours on the Brown-Throated Sunbird may not be fully appreciated due to the bird’s small size. In the larger than life size images, the plumage was simply stunning. The hues and colours of this species could even rival the colours of a rainbow. Even the different types of feathers, their various shapes and the patterns formed made this species a fascinating subject.”

Kwong Wai Chong
16th May 2010

9 Responses

  1. Larry Jordan

    Incredible fortune for you Kwong to have such a beautiful and engaging visitor. I love the wing stretching shots. I think he is showing off for you.

  2. Joy K.

    What a wonderful luxury to have a wild creature fully aware that you’re near, but feeling safe enough not to care.

  3. Kwong

    This sunbird has probably got used to my presence as I have been looking at it from my window; but without sticking my head.

    Thanks for the interest and the kind comments.

  4. Joan Knapp

    What a beautiful bird. And such a wonderful opportunity to get a close up view and be able to photograph. Thanks for sharing!

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