Malachite Sunbird in Eclipse Plumage
Malachite Sunbird in "eclipse" plumage with colorful aloe flowers in background, 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: 1/320; Aperture: f/5.6; ISO: 400
The male malachite sunbird (Nectarinia famosa) is usually depicted in its unmistakable breeding plumage — overall bright, metallic green colors with bright yellow pectoral tufts.
However, before it reaches that stage of ultimate sartorial bling, the male must first go through a period of "eclipse" plumage — the comparatively dull, seasonal stage found in birds that do
exhibit a distinct breeding plumage (as in photo above).
Even during this stage, with the green patches starting to show through, it is more colorful than the female of the species, though it can look a little blotchy and dishevelled.
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