Sunbirds are Africa and Asia's answer to the Hummingbirds of the Americas, both families being distantly related. While they are partial to the occasional insect, they primarily feed on nectar by way of spender bill and even more slender and elongated tongue, yet another example of Mother Nature's wonderfully elegant yet practical design.

While the females of the species are of course beautiful in their own right, it is the male of each Sunbird species that's adorned with a mixture of iridescent feathers that, when lit, transform them into exquisite flying gems.

The species you're looking at here is a magnificent (male) Scarlet-Chested Sunbird that I spent more than hours over the course of a couple of days while standing in the car park of one of the camps I stayed at in Kruger National Park, South Africa, last year …... and in case the South African police officer who should have been patrolling the park itself, but felt compelled to return two days in a row to the car park in our camp and threaten to arrest me if I didn't get out of the road (which happened to be the best spot to photograph this delightful little Sunbird) happens to be looking at this, well, let's be magnanimous and say: I'm sure you thought you were doing the right thing ;^)

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