A small sunbird in which the male has a brilliant red band across the chest. Size 12cm – much smaller than a sparrow. Afrikaans: Klein-rooibandsuikerbekkie . As with other sunbirds the bill is long and decurved.
The bill, legs and feet are black. The eye is dark brown. The male has a brilliant glossy, metallic green head, throat upper breast and back. A narrow metallic blue band separates the green of the upper breast from a wider red breast band below which the breast and belly are off-white. When displaying bright yellow pectoral tufts can be seen on the shoulders.
The female is brownish grey above with yellowish-grey underpartsCompared to the Greater Double-collared Sunbird, this species is smaller, and the band across the chest is narrower.
The Southern Double-collared Sunbird is a species of gardens, Cape fynbos, forests and eucalyptus plantations. It usually seen singly or in small groups, flitting quickly in among flowering plants or flying rapidly between feeding sites.
It lives mainly on nectar of flowers, as well as fruit, insects and spiders.
The call is a very high pitched jumble of swirling, sizzling tinkling notes, rising and falling in pitch and tempo for 3-5 seconds or more.
The Southern Double-collared Sunbird breeds from April to December, depending on region. The nest is an oval of grass, lichen and twigs and rootlets, bound together with spider webs. It has a side top entrance which sometimes has a porch, and is lined with wool, plant down and feathers.
Sometimes confused with:
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Miombo Double-collared Sunbird