Malachite Sunbirds in the Drakensberg

Malachite Sunbirds in the Drakensberg

Malachite sunbirds, or to use the Latin name:  Nectarinia Famosa are certainly absolutely stunning birds.

As you can see from their Latin name, Malachite Sunbirds in the Drakensberg they will eat nectar by preference. However, what most people don’t realise is that they also eat insects, spiders and small lizards. So, they will really eat anything small enough to fit into their beaks.

In the Drakensberg they are quite common, especially at higher altitudes.  They are also slightly nomadic, especially where they are following the blooming flowers.

In the Drakensberg, Malachite Sunbirds are altitudinal migrants.

So, they are also found all the way down to the Western Cape.

As their name suggests, Malachite Sunbirds are a bright green color, and so are easy to recognize.

During the non breading season the males are a similar brown color to the females with a little green underneath, but in breading season they grow their brilliant green plumage. The long beak is obvious, and what’s amazing is they only weigh 15 – 20g.

Their nest is usually in a low bush over water, and is often parasitised by the Klaas’s cuckoo.

Come and join us on a hike and you too can see these beautiful green birds in the spectacular Drakensberg.

Malachite Sunbird Drakensberg
Protea Caffra Drakensberg
Male Malachite Sunbird