The Scarlet-Chested Sunbird (Nectarinia senegalensis) is a small bird from sub-Saharan Africa. It is related to the hummingbird and the honeyeater.
The Scarlet-Chested Sunbird male is black with a bright red chest, with an iridescent green forehead and throat. The female is brown. Its beak is long, thin, arched, and downward-curved. It has a slender body with a short tail.
It can grow to 15 centimetres (6 inches) tall.
It prefers forests and woodlands, as well as parks and gardens, especially where there are many large flowers and aloe plants. It hovers around the flowers.
It feeds on nectar from flowers, but sometimes it eats insects (such as ants) and spiders. It has a brush-tipped tubular tongue that enables it to collect the nectar (juice) from flowers.
It is diurnal, active during the day.
It is often seen in pairs or sometimes in small family groups. It mates for life. The female Scarlet-Chested Sunbird builds a pear-shaped nest, made from plants and leaves. The nest hangs from small branches or an overhanging roof of a building. Females lay 2-4 eggs.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM