Some friends who were nice enough to read my fledgling blog, were kind enough to leave a comment. They wanted to know how the parents looked like. Just like all ‘kaypo’ humans, we all want to know if the kids look more like the dad or mum, or heaven forbid, someone else. :S

During my lunch break, I came home to the sound of chirping birds in the garden. Somewhere, up in the trees, I was sure, Mum and Dad sunbirds were gathering insects and grub for their little ones. The nest itself could be seen to be rocking ever so slightly in the slight afternoon breeze. The brood was hungry and they were definitely noisy about it. I rushed upstairs and hooked up the 400mm F2.8. No macro lens this time. It was time to get up close and personal with Daddy and Mummy Sunbird!

With the camera and lens mounted firmly on a tripod. it was time to wait for the parents to return. Within minutes, lo and behold, they came into range. Mum (see picture) had picked up something in her mouth, but wasn’t sure if it was safe to go into the nest. Dad (see picture), in the meantime did his rounds, and flew from tree to bush and back to tree again. They knew I was there. Heck, the 400mm is as big as a mini bazooka and no little bird would miss it. (Note to self : consider getting some camouflage covering for the lens).

Daddy Sunbird

Mummy Sunbird

Mum hopped from the fence onto the branch of the nesting plant, before hopping gently into the nest. Where I am sure, there would be a little bit of wrestling to get at what was inside Mum’s beak. The beauty of the nest was also its limitation, in that entrance into the nest was only via the back, and view was therefore only from the rear, i.e., blind side. It would have been priceless to be able to get a shot of Mum (and Dad) feeding the 3 hungry chicks.

On closer scrutiny of Dad, my money would be on him being a Yellow Breasted Sunbird (YBS) aka Olive Backed Sunbird. A little research online revealed that the chicks would take about 2-3 weeks to mature before flying away. So we have some time left before we see the little ones fly the nest, quite literally. Some interesting tidbits of information can be seen here.

Another claim to fame for the YBS was that it actually featured on the S$20 Bird Series banknote in the early 80’s when Singapore Airlines actually flew a concorde! Have a look!


So, back to the burning question, do the 3 young ‘uns look like Dad or Mum? Frankly, currently, neither. LOL. We will just have to see how their features develop in the next 2 weeks or so.

More pictures of the parents can be seen here at