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Gurney's Sugarbird

From Opus

Photo by Alan MansonCavern Resort, KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg, South Africa
Photo by Alan Manson
Cavern Resort, KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg, South Africa
Promerops gurneyi


[edit] Identification

Length 23-29 cm (9-11½ in); tail 10-17 cm, mass 32-38 g, males larger than females, with longer tails.

  • Crown and breast russet
  • Back and malar stripe brown, back streaked
  • Cheek and throat white
  • Belly white streaked dusky
  • Vent and undertail coverts yellow.

[edit] Distribution

Eastern South Africa, western Swaziland and highlands of eastern Zimbabwe and adjacent Mozambique.

 P. g. ardens; year-round
 P. g. gurneyi; year-round
Maps/Texts consulted1,2

[edit] Taxonomy

Photo by j van NoordwykGiants Castle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Photo by j van Noordwyk
Giants Castle, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

One of two species in the family Promeropidae. The Cape Sugarbird Promerops cafer is also endemic to southern Africa.

[edit] Subspecies

Two subspecies2:

  • P. g. ardens: breast brighter than nominate race, lower back greener, and cheeks darker.
  • P. g. gurneyi:
  • Northern and eastern South Africa (Limpopo south along the Drakensberg escarpment to Eastern Cape)

[edit] Habitat

Montane scrub with Protea, Aloe and Strelitzia species. Frequents Protea farms.

[edit] Behaviour

Solitary or in pairs, with groups at rich food sources. Aggressive, especially to others of the same species, and to Malachite Sunbirds.

[edit] Diet

Feeds on nectar (especially that of Protea species), arthropods, and some pollen.

[edit] Movements

Moves locally up to 37 km in response to flowering of food plants.

[edit] References

  1. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from

[edit] External Links


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