Captured this beautiful Sugarbird sitting on a protea on my way to Stellenbosch not far away from Cape Town.
The Cape Sugarbird (Promerops Cafer) is one of only six bird species considered endemic to the Cape Floral Kingdom. It is a brown bird with a splash of bright yellow below its long tail, and is found everywhere in Cape Fynbos where there are proteas or bird-pollinated ericas.
This bird is a specialist of the Proteaceae, visiting and pollinating species with a wide variety of floral designs. Its staple diet is nectar, supplemented with spiders and insects, and it visits about 300 protea flowerheads every day during autumn and winter to satisfy its energy requirements.
The sugarbirds’ very sharp claws enable them to grip onto branches and flowerheads and to continue feeding and pollinating even when strong winds force other birds to take cover in the undergrowth.
The giant or king protea (Protea cynaroides) is widely distributed in the south-western and southern areas of the Western Cape, from the Cedarberg up to just east of Grahamstown. South Africa’s national flower is the largest of the proteas, which make up an important part of the Cape Floral Region, a major global biodiversity hotspot and a Unesco World Heritage site.
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