Cape sugarbird Facts

Cape sugarbird Facts
Cape sugarbird is a songbird that belongs to the family of sugarbirds. It can be found only in two provinces of South Africa (Western and Eastern Cape). Cape sugarbird inhabits mountain slopes in the fynbos biome (area covered with shrubs typical for the Western Cape of South Africa). It occasionally visits gardens in rural and urban areas to find food. Number of cape sugarbirds in the wild is large and stable. These birds are not on the list of endangered animals.
Interesting Cape sugarbird Facts:
Cape sugarbird can reach 9.1 to 17 inches in length and 0.9 to 1.6 ounces of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Cape sugarbird is grey-brown colored. It has reddish-brown feathers on the breast (especially prominent in males), white belly and brownish-black streaks on the flanks. Both males and females have conspicuous bright yellow markings under the tail.
Cape sugarbird has long, downward curved beak, long, brush-tipped tongue, sharp claws and long tail that exceeds body length two times (in males). Females can be recognized by shorter beaks and tails.
Cape sugarbird has fast and direct flight.
Cape sugarbird is specialized for diet based on nectar. Brush-like tip of the tongue and long, curved beak facilitate extraction of nectar from various, tubular-shaped flowers. Besides nectar, cape sugarbird hunts and eats insects such as aphids, grasshoppers, beetles, bees and flies (important source of proteins).
Cape sugarbird plays important role in the pollination of plants such as proteas, ericas, red-hot pokers, watsonias and eucalyptus.
Cape sugarbird usually lives solitary life. Pairs of cape sugarbirds or groups of up to 12 members can be seen when food is abundant (during the flowering season).
Natural enemies of cape sugarbirds are ravens, shrikes, mongooses, rodents and snakes.
Cape sugarbird communicates via various sounds. It whistles, produces starling-like chirps and harsh noises made of creaking, repeating phrases.
Mating season of cape sugarbird takes place during the winter (from February to May, depending on the region).
Males display their long tails in the air and produce specific "frrt-frrt" sound with their wings. Goal of this audio-visual display is to attract females.
Cape sugarbirds form monogamous couples (pairs of birds that mate for a lifetime). They build cup-shaped nest made of twigs, pine needles and grasses.
Female lays 2 pinkish or creamy eggs. Only female takes part in the incubation of eggs which lasts 12 to 21 days (usually 17). Male protects nesting territory from various birds and predators during that period.
Both parents provide food for their chicks. Young cape sugarbirds leave the nest for the first time at the age of 18 days. They become ready for the independent life 3 weeks later.
Cape sugarbird can survive up to 7 years in the wild.

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