The Western Cape is home to amazingly colorful birds, both in character and plumage. These were seen earlier this year in the Constantia garden and nearby Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Just as we name any garden chameleon Meeleon, any male Whydah is called Charlie. We don’t like him much as he bosses everyone around like an overzealous Bobby on a London street. But maybe we should empathize with his burden of carrying such a tail around…


The swees jump up to a grass strand that would otherwise not support their weight, bring it to the ground and then delicately pluck a seed at a time.

And as for sunbirds, almost as fast and similar in many ways to the Americas’ hummingbirds, well they have a sweet tooth, or the lack thereof. One source describes them as “powerful little dynamos fueled by high-octane nectar”.