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Malachite Sunbird in Breeding Plumage

Malachite sunbird in bright green breeding plumage Malachite Sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) showing off its iridiscent green breeding plumage, Curry’s Post, KZN, South Africa. © Scotch Macaskill

Camera Gear: Canon EOS 50D; Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM; Focal Length: 400mm; Shutter speed: 1/500; Aperture: f/5.6; ISO: 400

The malachite sunbirds in our garden love feeding on the nectar of aloes in winter, providing some excellent photo opportunities. The only downside is that they're usually in non-breeding, or "eclipse" plumage, that in-between stage found in birds that do exhibit a distinct breeding plumage.

However, I was rewarded in spring when a male malachite in its full breeding plumage posed briefly for me on a wild pomegranate. As can be seen, the sunbird is now entirely iridiscent green except for the blue-black wings and tail.

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Contact Details: Scotch Macaskill, Dirt Road Traders, Currys Post Road, Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Tel: +27 (0)82 578 2329. Privacy: Your privacy is guaranteed. See our Privacy Policy for more. This site accepts advertising and other forms of compensation - see Disclosure and Advertising for details. Site updated: 2022. Copyright © 2002 - 2022 Scotch Macaskill