So long, sugarbirds

 

By Mike Ford

Those of you who have nectar feeders in your gardens will probably be noticing a drop-off in sugarbird numbers over the past few days.

Suikervoël, Kaapse (Sugarbird, Cape), 130921 Hermanus 0316

A Cape Sugarbird (Kaapse Suikervoël) in a Hermanus garden. Image: Charles Naudé.

This is almost the end of the “scavenging” season for these birds and it is time for them to start returning to their proper habitat in the protea fynbos.

Before the advent of feeders these birds would leave their beloved proteas around September or October and go hunting for any other species of trees and bushes for alternative supplies of nectar, returning in late February or March to resume their more normal feeding patterns and also to moult in preparation for their winter breeding period.

If there are considerably fewer sugarbirds in your garden, you can either reduce the nectar you feed them to just enough for the smaller sunbirds and white-eyes, or take the feeder down and store it for the winter. Either way, make sure you give it a good clean, and disinfect it with something like Dettol before storing.

2 comments on “So long, sugarbirds

  1. Pingback: So long, sugarbirds | Hermanus Bird Club | Wolf's Birding and Bonsai Blog

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