oa African Zoology - Nest-site selection in the Cape sugarbird

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Cape sugarbirds, Promerops cafe, preferred certain protea bushes as nest-sites. These bushes were characterized by relatively large leaves and dense foliage. Nests were usually placed in the central parts of bushes Nest-sites were shielded from the cold night sky, and were associated with relatively favourable air temperatures and protection from wind in a season of unfavourable weather. Data on microclimate of nest-sites, together with those on heat loss from an incubating sugarbird, were interpreted in relation to nest-site selection as adaptive behaviour promoting breeding success through conservation of energy. Sugarbirds nesting relatively high off the ground and in dense vegetation were considered to be decreasing the risk of exposure to predators.

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