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As felines are my primary passion when it comes to animals, while in Africa naturally most of my efforts will be invested in seeking them out and few things will deter me from this practice. However, my love of small, colourful birds will invariably see me dedicating some time specifically to them as well.

The trouble is, with the exception of rollers (e.g. the lilac-breasted roller), generally speaking the most colourful avian species I’m attracted to are sunbirds, which feed primarily on nectar found in flowers, and out on the open savannah there are very few flowering plants or trees to be found.

Therefore, this means in order for me to have an opportunity of seeing and photographing some of these I have to be willing to pass up on either an early morning or afternoon game drive, as the only way I’m likely to find sunbirds is by waiting patiently for them to appear in gardens of game camps.

Although I didn’t actually do this during my last trip to Kenya, thankfully I invested more than a few hours in gardens while in South Africa back in 2011, and was wonderfully rewarded as a result! Of four different species of sunbirds I came across, this male Marico (aka Mariqua) sunbird (Cinnyris mariquensis) was the first, and perhaps you can understand why they appeal to me so much.

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