Saturday, July 14, 2012

Beautiful Songbird from Gambia

Gambian Wildlife
(although the card does not say it, this is a Beautiful Sunbird)
1978 - mailed from Gambia

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The Beautiful Sunbird, is a sunbird. The sunbirds are a group of very small Old World passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed most of the time.

The Beautiful Sunbird is a common breeder across sub-Saharan tropical Africa. One or two eggs are laid in a suspended nest in a tree. It is a seasonal migrant within its range.

Beautiful Sunbirds are tiny, only 10 cm long, although the breeding male's long tail adds another 5 cm. They have medium-length thin down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues, both adaptations to their nectar feeding.

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