Certhia afra Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Two subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Larger double-collared sunbird, red-breasted sunbird; French: Souimanga а plastron rouge; German: Grosser Halsband- Nektarvogel; Spanish: Nectarina de Dos Collares Grande.
4.5–4.9 in (11.5–12.5 cm); male 0.32–0.64 oz (9.0–18.0 g), female 0.29–0.49 oz (8.1–14.0 g). Similar in coloring to olive- bellied sunbird, with a longer bill, larger size, and purplish bands cross throat and rump.
C. a. afra: Cape and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa; C. a. saliens: Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern, and Kwazulu-Natal Provinces of South Africa, Lesotho, and western Swaziland.
Open scrubland, plains, protea moorland, fynbos, parks, gardens, and forest edges.
Aggressive with both sexes chasing each other. Males may fan tail and display pectoral tufts, and they sing to one another when perched close and swing bodies from side to side, while pointing head skyward. Displaying birds sometimes swing upside-down on perch. Bathe in birdbaths and attack reflections in windows. Males perform elaborate courtship
s, bobbing heads up and down and swaying sideways; also indulge in display flights.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Takes nectar from flowers such as aloes, proteas, and figs, but also feeds on juices from figs and grapes, insects, and spiders. May take latter from their webs in hovering flight. Catches insects on the wing.
Monogamous, but extra-pair copulations probably common, judging by frequency of cloaca-pecking. Female builds nest using spider webs to hold together grasses, bark twigs, rags, feathers, wool, and other debris into oval shape. Nest lined with feathers and wool, decorated with large leaves, lichen, and even cloth, and either placed in bush or suspended. Two heavily marked whitish eggs are laid at any time of year and incubated by female only for two weeks. Nestlings cared for by both parents for two weeks. Fledglings return to nest to roost for first few nights. May be triple-brooded. Parasitized by Klaas’s cuckoo.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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