Oudtshoorn, situated in the Klein Karoo, will always be associated with the world’s largest bird, the Ostrich, but it is also home to a great variety of other birds.
The focus today is the beautiful Malachite Sunbird also called the green Sugarbird. The Malachite Sunbird is a small nectivorous bird found from the highlands of Ethiopia southwards to South Africa. The male malachite sunbird is metallic green in breeding season with blackish-green wings. The female has brown upper-parts with dull yellow under-parts and looking very similar to the juvenile.
The sunbird thrives in hilly-fynbos such as protea plants and aloes. Majority of sunbird species take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird. The malachite sunbird has a long, thin down-curved bill with a brush-tipped tongue specially adapted for nectar feeding. The vegetation of the Swartberg Pass in the Klein Karoo is therefore a lush playground for these beautiful birds.
The Sunbird species is monogamous and the female incubates for approximately two weeks. These birds are territorial and can often be aggressive when nesting. Both parents are responsible for the feeding of the chicks until their wings are well-developed for flight.
A visit to Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo will definitely be worthwhile to spot some of these eye-catching Malachite Sunbirds. You might even be lucky and see some of these beautiful birds at Safari Ostrich Farm during your visit. We have a family who has “settled” here at Safari Ostrich Farm since we have many aloes at our reception.