Thursday, June 4, 2015

Red-whiskered Bulbul nest in our garden

To our garden, many little birds make regular visits in search for food or to have a drink or dip at the bird bath I have provided.  Tailorbird, sunbird and spotted dove have made their nests in our premise at one time or other, which I have shown in my other post. [Here, click]  Till now, I had not seen a Red Whiskered Bulbul make its nest here.  It was a great thrill to watch it for the first time. 
Click on pictures to view larger images.

Red Whiskered Bulbul.  

Last year, I had seen the Bulbuls flying in and out in the bushy growth of Jacquemontia vine grown on the arch. I had thought it might be finding some insects to eat in there.  So I never thought of taking a closer look even though I walked past it often.  

Recently, just by chance, I happened to look into the bushy growth of the vine from the other side.  I saw a cup like nest, already used. It did not occur to me to relate it to the Bulbuls flying in exactly there.  On the same day and a couple of days before, I had seen a similar behaviour of Bulbuls, a pair, near another Jacquemontia vine grown on the other side of the pond, near the compound wall. 

This is where I peeped in to examine and found to my great delight, a nest under construction.  Now I could relate it was the work of the Bulbul.  It was also cup-like. I had missed last season's, or whenever, nest in the other arch.

Nest still under construction, peeped in through the bird's entry-exit point. 

This is how it looks, so well concealed.

It took a few days to fill more material.

Curious, I peeped in to see what was on.  Ran in to get the camera and took this from a distance.  A bulbul was sitting still.  That meant something, wonderful!

When the bird flew out for a break, I peeped in again with the camera and to my great delight, found 3 eggs.

I think both partners took turns to warm the eggs.  One has come to check.

It got used to my presence close as also I had refrained myself from passing close in front of the 'opening'.

This is the view from sitting from the pond-side bench, turn the head to the left.  The nest was as close as two and half feet to my head.  

A parent checking again.  Once I had seen a Female Koel trying to peep in there when the Bulbul was not around.  I feared Koels were looking for eggs, which they may eat.  I quickly ran out and chased it away.

Another shot from the bench.

Tiny chicks. Wow! Shot taken from ten feet.  It had taken 10-11 days to hatch.

This was how close the nest was to me. It had indeed chosen a perfectly bushy spot. 

I shook a twig lightly.  The slight vibration was enough to make their instincts to go beaks up, thinking they would get fed.  This was for a photo.  It had rained very heavily overnight, on 26th or so and the first thing in the morning I did was to check their welfare.  They were safe, snugly cuddled against each other, wings had grown larger.

It also took 10-11 days to fledge.  They are out of the nest. Day of their taking their wings.

Once out of the nest, they will never return there.

One chick took a short flight and sat on the grinding stone.

The parents were taking a close look and were teaching to fly to safety by repeating the short flight more than twice.  

On their first day itself they learn much.  It will get more strength in their legs soon.

One parent was carrying food in its beak to feed while the other seemed to be worried about this little chick's safety.  They were also concerned by our presence, or so it appeared to me. We stayed at a distance though.  The other two chicks were also in some other bushes, where the parents would go after following their tweets.

This one settled in the bean vine comfortably when sun was going down. The parent fed it a few times. In the morning I heard the tiny tweets from the same spot and felt relieved as it survived the cat prowl also at night. 

A caterpillar and something for the young ones.

One of the three chicks stayed there for the second night. On the second day, the other two chicks could not be seen. May be they flew to the neighbour's compound.  I did not find this chick also on the third day. 

Prayed they all would survive to be adults like this. 
 They are in good numbers here.  So it is an indication that most of the three chicks will thrive well.


Arun Visweswaran said...

We went through a similar experience earlier this year. Lovely writeup and pics.

Amrit Yegnanarayan said...

What a lovely story Dinu.

Kanchana said...

Lovely.. I roo have a small family of two parent bieds and the little chicks... I am going through the same as u have mentioned in ur blog...not sure what ro feed them with... Hope they remain there always

Umashankar27 said...

Its a feature film like writeup with pictures taken so wonderfully.... amazing Dinakar sir... thanks for sharing it

jothi's jottings said...

What an experience you have shared with us all! Beautiful photos followed by beautiful narration of the developments, right from nesting, egg laying, hatching and eventually the chicks flying away.

Is it not strange that the birds after all the sacrificing, why, punishing themselves to rear the young ones, finally one day drive them out?!
I would like to know if the parents continue to live in your garden? If so, what pleasure they are going to give to you all!

How different your experience is from those who are maintaining the budgerigars in suffocating little cages, which seems to be the trend nowadays. Envy you!