While packing up my camera equipment in the car park of the Mandai Orchid Garden. I heard the sounds of an angry bird in the background. On turning around to look, I spotted a sunbird having an altercation with its own image in a van’s side view mirror.
You may have seen similar incidences in other car parks or with cars parked close to a tree lined area. The need to defend territory against other rival males is common to males of all species. In this instance, the male Plain Throated Sunbird mistook its own image as another handsome male coming to lure his mate away.
Hence, he launched a fearless attack to defend what is his. So engrossed was he, in his fight that he did not even notice me pointing a huge lens at him.
The altercation with his mirror image went on for a good 15 minutes before he noticed my presence. That did not seem to faze him; he flew over to the other side view mirror and began his fight again.
This chanced encounter gave me a chance to capture a series of comical photos. It also presented an opportunity to show you the aggressive side of a sunbird. The only casualty of this altercation with self was the side view mirror, it was covered with scratches.