There is always some bird action going on in our garden. The sunbirds have been very active recently and today we observed some serious interaction. Two to three Brown-throated Sunbirds (Anthreptes malacensis malacensis) were having a noisy ‘discussion’. At first I thought it was a female to female conflict over some breeding or mating concern. But as we watched it became clearer that the primary ‘antagonist’ was a young male. Close up of images showed that it was just developing a few metallic feathers and had a wing moult. During the prolonged vocal interaction, with occasional wing flapping and some chasing, a young female was watching attentively but not interfering. A female-male pair of Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis flammaxillaris-ornatus intergrades) also joined the activity and added their voice briefly. I suspect all the action was to protect his slice of paradise (aka nectar sources in our garden). We were watching very close-by but were ignored in the heat of the exchange.
Post 1 and 3 are of the vocal first year male. Note the pollen grains on the head from the Albizia julibrissin (Mimosa Tree or Pink Silk Tree, an exotic we are growing).
Post 2 is of the first year female, watching intentently, also with pollen on the head.
Post 4 is a composite of a female Olive-backed Sunbird with the first year male Brown-throated Sunbird. They were one branch apart in our Geijera parviflora tree (Wilga – an Australian willow) – the Olive-backed Sunbird was in front and I took two images to bring them both in focus.
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Wild-urban garden
Date: 30th December 2020
Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone