We shall continue with the Garden Birds Series today as we explore one of the most attractive passerines to see, the Sunbirds.
Sunbirds belong to the family Nectariniidae as they mostly feed on nectar with their long downward curved bills; an adaptation to their feeding preferences.
Sunbirds largely exhibit sexually dimorphism, with the males having a bright plumage in iridescent colors, longer tail feathers and generally large compared to the females.
Sunbirds are diurnal (active during the day). They occur in pairs or small family groups and are very aggressive when defending their territories.
Their nests, mostly built by females in most species, are purse-shaped, enclosed and suspended from thin branches with generous use of spider webs making them discreet. Up to 4 eggs are laid by the female.
Globally, there are 132 species of sunbirds occupying Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, southern China, and Indonesia, coasts of the Red Sea, Israel, New Guinea, Solomon Islands and North Eastern Australia. 0f this 36 are found in Kenya.
Sunbirds are primarily rainforest passerines but also occupy secondary and alpine forest, open woodlands, coastal scrubs, open scrubs, savannah, cultivated areas and gardens.