Sunbirds returned to our homestead when the rain returned. Through winter we watch the shy little Malachite Sunbird flitting between the vibrant orange aloe flowers. As the winter turns and the weather warms the little Sunbirds savour a variety of fruit nectar from our blossoming apricot, peach, plum and pomegranate trees. It is a wonderful sight. Earlier this year Sunbirds built an extravagant nest in the safety of a large cactus outside our bathroom. And then the joyful exclamations of my clambering BuckarooBabies caused the little Sunbirds to abandon their wonderful nest.


A couple weeks ago we noticed the tiny yellow face of the female Sunbird peeping out of the nest. Spring has finally arrived - late - in our corner of Creation. The BuckarooBabies are far less noisy about the nest and have learned that they can observe the nest quietly from a distance.


With five cats on our homestead the choice of a rather nasty looking cactus was a smart one for their nursery home. The mountainside is filled with the chatter of hundreds of other birds, mostly weavers, and yet our shy little Sunbird quietly sits on her eggs. When she does pop out briefly I am able to peep inside the nest.


However its architect designed the nest in an inverted L-shape and the feather lined base is barely seen, let alone the minute eggs. How these little Sunbirds constructed the nest is truly remarkable. With the incredible heat of our semi-desert valley I hope the angle keeps the little Sunbird family cool when the chicks hatch.


The Sunbird incubation period is only 14 days. Although only the female sits on the eggs both parents participate in raising their babies. Sadly the survival rate of Sunbird hatchlings is very low. But we hope to see the happy little family flitting around the homestead later this summer. Until then, we quietly peep at mama Sunbird in her lofty home as she awaits the hatching of her beautiful babies.



Aw, so gorgeous! Your writing and photographs always blow me away - there's a reason you are in my favourites list. Will you host us when we drive to South Africa in our Defender, and show me sunbirds?

Thank you so much for the sweet comment! I usually find that my photos dictate the writing....I have an idea. Then when I start selecting the photos the post kind of write's differently to what I intended. Bit depressed by all the nonsense going on at the moment. They're passing all sorts of ridiculous laws here (no surprises but still a shocker) I don't ever do rant posts ...... but maybe it's time. I loved yours of the other day.

And yes, I will definitely give a grand tour! No passport necessary on my tour bus

However its architect designed the nest in an inverted L-shape and the feather lined base is barely seen, let alone the minute eggs. How these little Sunbirds constructed the nest is truly remarkable.

True that, it amazes us how they build these nests with so much care.

Exactly! Especially when you have some birds whose mate disapprove and the nest is abandoned so that another can be built

Whoa! This bird lives in a cactus!Very interesting. Thanks for the nice photos.

Sunbirds are very intelligent

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Oh wow, they are such precious photos!

You are so lucky to see such a special little being...

Precious indeed @chocolatescorpi! And they just hatched!!! Going to be posting soon. See baby beak?

Oh wow so cool and you must feel so privileged to be there to see it all happening.

I look forward to the photos of their progress.

It really is a privilege! I get a thrill every time I see one of the little parents coming to feed the baby Sunbirds. Can't wait to see the face of one of those cutie babies.....

Are you making your presence know to them- to to interfere, just be on the sidelines so when they do come out and see you, they should have no fear of you...

Well I'm hanging out of our bathroom window a few dozen times a day to take photos ;) So they are well aware of me. Bit nervous but I don't interfere or get too close to alarm them

Maybe every day, just take a tiny step close and closer and just chill out, no sudden movements, just get your cuppa and meditate with them and then hopefully you will be able to be around them and they will accept you just being there...After all, we don't want you to fall out your bathroom window and scare them with the sudden movements and swear words...

Guess what I did today, after thinking about it for so many years...

I signed up to study for a certificate in Animal care

So excited and can't wait to combine it with everything else I am doing...😃

That is wonderful! I can imagine that you are excited. I hope you enjoy every minute of the new animal (study) adventure