White-bellied Sunbird

Cinnyris talatala

An inhabitant of open woodlands, riparian thickets, bushveld and suburban gardens, the tiny (6-9g) White-bellied Sunbird feeds mainly on nectar from a variety of flowers, although insects and other invertebrates also makes up a sizable portion of its diet.

White-bellied Sunbirds breed throughout the year, with a peak in spring and summer. The nest is built by the female, of dry plant material bound together by spider web, often in a very thorny plant or near a wasp nest. The female is also singly responsible for incubating the clutch of 1-3 eggs for about two weeks, but both parents feed the chicks until they fledge after another two weeks.

In South Africa, White-bellied Sunbirds occur in Kwazulu-Natal, the Free State, North West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Provinces. It is also found in Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and with an abundant, stable population is regarded as being of least concern by the IUCN.

As you can see from this gallery, Joubert and I have great fun photographing the White-bellied Sunbirds visiting the Cape Honeysuckle and other flowering shrubs in our small garden.


25 thoughts on “White-bellied Sunbird

  1. Lara Lourens

    Hi there, I hope someone will be able to help. We have one of these little male birds that comes home every evening at 19:00 and sleeps on the chandelier on our front porch all night long.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dawn Crooks

    I have a white-bellied Sunbird couple who are making a nest on my washing line in my courtyard! It is right outside my kitchen window so I have a ‘birds-eye view’ of their comings and goings. Do you have any pictures of their finished nest, and if their entrance faces in a particular direction…East etc. Can I feed them with sugar water?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kim blades, writer

    I don’t think I’ve seen this subird before. We only get the tiny, shiny, blue-green ones in our area. They love the nectar of the hibiscus that I have a forest of in my garden. Fantastic photos.



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