The Greater Double-collared Sunbirds, Cinnyris afer (formerly placed in the genus Nectarinia), is a small passerine bird that breeds in southern South Africa. It is mainly resident, but partially migratory in the northeast of its range. The subspecies C. a. stuhlmanni and C. a. prigoginei are sometimes split as Stuhlmann’s Sunbird, Cinnyris stuhlmann, and Prigogine’s Sunbird, Cinnyris prigoginei respectivel.
This sunbird is common in gardens, fynbos, forest edges, and coastal scrub.
Breeding / Nesting
The Greater Double-collared Sunbird breeds all year round, with a peak from July to November.
The closed oval nest is constructed from grass, lichen, and other plant material, bound together with spider webs. It has a side entrance which sometimes has a porch, and is lined with feathers.
The Greater Double-collared Sunbirds is 14 cm long.
The adult male has a glossy, metallic green head, throat upper breast, and back. It has a broad brilliant red band across the chest, separated from the green breast by a narrow metallic blue band. The rest of the underparts are pale grey. When displaying, yellow feather tufts can be seen on the shoulders. As with other sunbirds, the bill is long and decurved. The bill, legs, and feet are black. The eye is dark brown.
The male can be distinguished from the similar Lesser Double-collared Sunbird by the latter’s smaller size, narrower red chest band, and shorter bill.
The Southern Double-collared Sunbirds are usually seen singly or in pairs.
Its flight is fast and direct on short wings.
Diet / Feeding
It lives mainly on nectar from flowers but takes some fruit, and, especially when feeding young, insects and spiders. It has the habit of hovering in front of webs to extract spiders. It can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird but usually perches to feed most of the time.
Call / Vocalization
The call is a hard chut-chut-chut, and the song is a high-pitched jumble of tweets and twitters, richer than the calls of the Southern Double Collard Sunbird.
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