There’s pretty much nothing more affirming of life on the farm than coming across other species raising their families! Here’s a series of photographs captured by my father, John Grieve, while he was observing a nest belonging to a pair of Malachite Sunbirds, nectarine famosa.

The nest, which was most likely made by the female alone, is a teardrop-shaped pouch built out of dry plant material and bound by spider web. Malachite Sunbirds are territorial nesters who share a monogamous bond just for the breeding season. Their peak egg-laying season is from September through December, and the female may lay 1 to 4 eggs. You can see here that our little family have two chicks.

Observers have noted that the female does most, if not all of the incubating of eggs and feeding of the chicks. However, on this occasion, this father appeared to share in the feedings duties. Malachite Sunbird chicks stay in the nest for about 17 days, becoming increasingly independent. After being fed by both Mom and Dad, these two came out to take a look around their Avondale world.