For the second year running, we have had a pair of mating sunbirds somehow finding their way back to our garden. Their mating is apparently seasonal, and they tend to mate during the time of the year when the number of insects are plentiful for the feeding of the young. The main thing is they like our garden and vice versa, we are more then pleased to have them around. After all, isn’t it the old traditional Chinese belief that when birds build a nest in your home, it is a harbinger of good luck and good fortune? Christians or not, superstitious or not, I believe that one can always welcome a dose of good fortune! ūüôā

The sunbird is a member of the family Nectariniidae. With over 130 species located worldwide, they are small birds, which feed largely on the nectar of flowers, and also insects and spiders. The males are usually bigger and generally more colorful with a beautiful iridescent plumage, while the females are smaller and of a duller color. Sunbirds are usually monogamous during breeding season. While the female adult alone construct the nests, lays and incubates the eggs, both parents share out the workload to care for the young hatchlings. Up to 4 eggs are laid each time. In this instance, 3 were laid in the current nest.

Each time we approached the nest, we could hear Mum chirping nearby as she looked on anxiously to see if her littles ones were safe. When the 3 little hatchlings arrived on Easter Sunday, it brought joy to everyone in the house. Especially for V, my youngest, who was very intrigued with the whole hatching process. She would trudged along with me while I tried to capture the little ones on film. Taking care not to damage the nest in any way, we carefully moved the unattached leaves aside, and there they were, 3 sleeping beauties. One of them woke up halfway, thinking that the movement was made by mum returning with breakfast. It started opening its mouth wide for mum to stuff a morsel of food, only to be disappointed, and thereafter falling back to sleep again!  Sometimes their actions just seem so humanlike! Not unlike my own kids when they were newborns.

Their eyes remained close for now, oblivious to happenings around them. I pray that no predators get to them in the meantime. Will try to grab another picture when they open their eyes in the next few days.

The full sized images can be viewed @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanyongkuan/sets/72157626454798053/

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