Do you want to see and learn about small birds like the hummingbird? If yes, then pay attention as we are going to talk about the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer). This bird is endemic or native of the Fynbos biome areas present in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape areas of South Africa. These small birds mainly feed on nectar from the protea plant, and it's closely related to the Gurney's sugarbird. The Cape sugarbird is known for its long tail, which is longer in the male bird. This bird has been placed in the family Promeropidae and in the genus Promerops.
You can easily recognize this bird through its gray-brown and pale-brown appearance, along with the little bit of yellow present under its tail. Along with feeding on nectar, the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) also likes to catch insects like beetles, bees, ants, and moths. Its breeding season often coincides with the blossoming of the proteas flowers, and these birds are quite careful parents even though the Cape sugarbird eggs are attacked by a number of species. The good thing about this bird is that its population is thriving in South Africa, and the species is under constant conservation.
Want to know more about these avian creatures? Keep reading to find interesting Cape sugarbird facts. Also, check out the articles on the western bluebird and Eclectus parrot to peek into the life of other birds.
The Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is a small sugarbird species that are endemic or native of the Fynbos biome and protea-dominated habitats of the Western Cape and Eastern Cape of South Africa. This bird species is similar to Gurney's sugarbird, but the Cape sugarbird tends to be bigger.
The Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) belongs to the class Aves, order Passeriformes, and genus Promerops cafer. Even the sunbird belongs to the same order as the Cape sugarbird.
The exact population of the South African Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is yet to be studied, but some sources say that it's around 10,000–100,000 individuals.
The Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is endemic to South Africa, where it's found in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape regions. At times the Cape sugarbird can also be attracted to areas like botanical gardens, especially in search of flowers.
The natural habitat of the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is said to be the Fynbos biome which stands for a small belt of shrublands present in South Africa. Its main habitat consists of proteoid shrublands, and at times, these birds can also be seen in suburban gardens.
The Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) can be seen alone, in pairs, or in small groups. Often the male birds can be seen sitting on protea bushes. You can often catch the bird in groups while it's buzzing on flowering bushes to have its share of nectar.
In the wild, the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is able to have a long life of up to seven years of age. However, some studies claim that the Cape sugarbird can have a maximum lifespan of 14 years.
When it comes to these small birds, it's always good to know about the breeding of the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer). In Eastern Cape, the breeding season takes between the months of June and July, while in Western Cape, the breeding season is between April to July. The breeding season coincides with the flowering of plants from the Protea species. Sometimes more than one brood is raised by the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) in a year.
The Cape sugarbird is also a socially monogamous bird, and the pairs become quite territorial during the breeding season. The nest is made by the female Cape sugarbird within a duration of 5-10 days. These birds also line the twig-based nests with dead flowerheads. The nests are also made behind protea bush to hide them from predators. The female Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) lays around two eggs and incubates them for 17 days. Both the female and the male bird feeds the chicks, and it takes 21 more days for the baby Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) to live the nest.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) species is placed under the classification status of Least Concern.
If you are lucky enough to visit the native habitat of the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) of South Africa, you can often find it hovering over the Fynbos plants in search of nectar. This can make it hard to have a look at its appearance. But, we are here to help you out. The Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) has a small body, but the most noticeable part of this species has to be its long gray-brown tail. The tails tend to be longer in the males compared to the females along with the beak.
Moreover, the most prominent color in this bird's body is brown, which is seen on its wings and head. Paler gray-brown feathers are also seen on the chest. Even though most of its underparts are white, you can see a hint of yellow on the base of its tail. The legs and beak of these birds are black or brown, and the iris is dark red-brown. The juvenile birds are paler than the adult males and females, and there is no demarcation between the belly and its chest. Also, there's no yellow in its plumage.
These tiny birds are quite cute and look adorable while flying.
Even though the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is a small species, it's known for creating various songs and calls. A common song of this bird is the 'k-swip-chirrring-ka-swip-chik-chik'. Other than this, the bird also has a hissing song, along with an alarm song that sounds like tearing through clothes. The male bird also has modified feathers on its wings and tail that help it to create 'frrt-frrt' mechanical noises.
The average length range of the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer), including its tail, is around 9.8-17.3 in (24.8-44 cm). Females tend to have a smaller body compared to males. In comparison, the bee hummingbird has a body length of around 2.1-2.4 in (5.3-6 cm), and it has a tiny tail.
We are yet to know about the flying speed of the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) of South Africa, but we do know that this South African bird species hovers while flying.
The average weight range of the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is around 0.9-1.5 oz (25.5-42.5 g).
There are no special names for the male and female of this species.
A baby Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is called a chick.
By the name of this bird, you can understand it prefers to feed on nectar from flowers. It mainly feeds on nectar from the Fynbos protea species, as well as on the leucospermum, mimetes, aloe, agaves, eucalypts, and bottlebrush. However, these birds also feed on insects which mainly include moths, aphids, ants, flies, bees, beetles, bees, and at times spiders.
No, the cute little Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) isn't dangerous.
No, as a protected bird species, you cannot have the cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) as your pet.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
Argentine ants are one of the common nest predators of the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer). Because of the different predators, the mortality of the chicks of this bird from South Africa is thought to be around 60-80%.
The Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) has also adjusted itself to the strong winds that blow through its typical African habitat. Along with remaining buoyant in the air, this bird is also capable of building nests that won't be affected by the winds.
Sometimes the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) is also found in South African areas with sea-level mountains.
In the native South African language of Afrikaans, the Cape sugarbird is known as kaapse suikervoël.
No, the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) doesn't migrate, but it's thought that it does take part in local movements, especially when certain flowers are in bloom.
No, the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) isn't a hummingbird, as the latter family of birds is only found in the New World. In contrast, the sugarbird is native of the Fynbos habitat of western and eastern South Africa. The sugarbirds are closer to the sunbirds and to the Australian honeyeaters.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these blue-winged macaw facts and cedar waxwing facts for kids.
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