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Greater double-collared sunbird

Cinnyris afer
Photo by Elaine van Dyk (Red Bubble)

Common name:
greater double-collared sunbird (en); beija-flor-de-banda-larga (pt); souïmanga à plastron rouge (fr); suimanga bicollar mayor (es); großer doppelband-nektarvogel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Nectariniidae

These birds are endemic to South Africa and Swaziland, occurring in a band from the Limpopo Province, through Mpumalanga and Swaziland, and into KwaZulu-Natal and down the coast to the Western and Eastern Cape.

These birds are 14 cm long and weigh 9-11 g.

They are generally found along the edges of mountain, coastal and dune forests, but also in fynbos, coastal scrubland, Acacia savanna, gardens and parks.

These birds mainly feed on the nectar of various flowers, including Aloe, Cotyledon, Erica, Protea, Tecoma capensis, Gasteria, Hibiscus, Salvia, Plumbago, Canna, Pyrostegia venusta and cultivated pineapples. They also eat fruits and fruit juices, and some small arthropods.

Greater double-collared sunbirds can breed all year round, but with a peak in July-November. They are monogamous and the female builds the nest alone, an oval-shaped structure built of a variety of materials, such as dry grass, bark shreds, wool, cottony material, feathers, fur, leaves, lichen, rootlets, twiglets and string bound together with spider web. It is typically placed 2-6 metres above ground in a tree with dense foliage. The female lays 1-2 eggs, which she incubates alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-16 days, but only become fully independent 10 days later.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species as a large breeding range and is described as locally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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