Green Sunbird

Nature Notes


The green sunbird, a member of the family Nectariniidae, is found throughout much of north-west Africa, India, south-east Asia and the most northern tip of Australia. It thrives in lush green forest and is vital to the survival of many species of plant and insect. By feeding on the nectar of flowers, eating fruit and feeding on small insects, this bird maintains the delicate balance of the expansive ecosystem in which it lives. Without the green sunbird, not only would many species of plant lack their only, or main, pollinator but also populations of some insect would spiral out of control, potentially destroying the fragile ecosystem.

Hummingbirds, sunbirds and honeyeaters have evolved a complex relationship closely entwined with the other plants and animals in their ecosystem. Sustainability necessitates stability: survival of the ecosystem depends on natural mechanisms that limit the spread of pests, partial habitat removal or overabundance of one creature.

These birds demonsrate survival in the face of adversity due to their adaptability, sustainable living and their close relationships with many different kinds of creature: a perfect role model for human beings working to create the sustainable human ecosystems of the 21st Century and beyond.


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