Cape Sugarbird

The Cape Sugarbird is endemic to the fynbos regions of the Western and Eastern Cape, where it feeds mainly on nectar, especially of Protea-species (and as such is a major pollinator of these plants), and insects. It is also seen in gardens, especially in the summer. With its long-tail, the male Cape Sugarbird can grow to up to 44cm in length, weighing up to 50g.

Cape Sugarbirds breed mainly in autumn and winter, to coincide with the Protea flowering season. Pairs are monogamous, with the male aggressively defending the nesting site while the female builds the cup-shaped nest of dead leaves and dry grass, usually among the leaves of a Protea-bush. The female incubates the clutch of 1 or 2 eggs alone, for a period of up to 3 weeks. Chicks leave the nest at about 18 days old, and then stay with their parents for only another 3 weeks before attaining independence.

While the IUCN considers the Cape Sugarbird to be of least concern, they are at long term risk due to habitat loss brought on by development and invasion of their habitat by alien plants.

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9 thoughts on “Cape Sugarbird

  1. JANE

    Too bad habitat loss and invasive plants are at epidemic proportion world-wide… the relationship between Sugarbird and protea plants is so well thought out by Mother Nature…

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