As I’ve mentioned, we have a number of birds that visit our garden every day. Until I began to use a camera to photograph the feathered visitors, I was under the impression that all the tiny, perky birds that swooped and hopped around in the mango tree were sunbirds.
Both species of birds are about the same size, and they frequent shady spots to search for food. They even have a similar olive colour on their backs.
The tailorbird, however, has a rounder body, a russet head and a light-coloured belly. It is sharp-eyed and flies in quick, darting motions.
It appears to be unafraid of people, as long as you keep still, and seems more intent on catching prey of insects that it finds – in our case – in the shady areas under trees and bushes. I’ve observed tailorbirds swooping into and navigating through large bushes in early morning and late evening, searching for food of insects and grubs.
They have a melodic song, as well as a loud tic-tic-tic call. And I must say that for such a tiny bird – approximately 7cm long – it’s got a loud voice!
It’s not easy to observe tailorbirds because they move so fast, but they tend to perch for short periods while their alert eyes search for the next round of food. In the circle of life, everything has a form and function, and I appreciate that these birds serve to rid our garden of some pests. And they’re cute to watch, too.