Bulbul Watching - Part I

Here is a peep into the life of the Red Whiskered Bulbuls who chose to make a part of our garden, their home :)
This is one of the bulbuls - I'm assuming it is the female. To an amateur eye like mine, the male and the female look similar. Even the creator seems to have taken gender equality seriously here!

The shrub the bulbuls chose for building their nest is so low and accessible! I'm praying that the cats and snakes that move about freely don't come to know about this. Though, how, I don't know :(
 Animals are so sensitive. I'm sure, like me, the snakes & cats have been keeping an eye on the bulbuls - for different reasons, of course!

3-4 days of hectic activity by both birds and their cosy home is ready :) It looks to be made of dry twigs only, but actually, they have lined it with large quantities of soft stuff like spiders' webs, etc. No fuss and frills, no disagreement, no third person's help required- excellent! I wish nest building was like this for all of us!
The nest
The next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see one egg :) I love that colour - a shade of burgundy - 'grape wine colour' in popular parlance.
One egg

The second morning, I peeped in to say 'hello' & discovered another egg!
 Hm.. so, birds lay eggs, one at a time. I had never given this a thought and for some strange reason had assumed that all the 3-4 eggs were laid at one go!!
Come to think of it, very stupid of me!!
Two eggs
The third morning, there was yet another egg! Maybe, this is it - the nest seems full now. When there were 1, 2 eggs, Ma Bulbul would leave the nest unattended. After the third, she has been around.

Three's a crowd!

I was right! She stopped at three. It has been 5 days now and she leaves the nest only for brief intervals- food breaks, I guess! She is used to me now. She allows me to peep in and say a few words. But, at the sound of the 'click', she flew away & I have decided not to disturb her again during the incubation period.
Birds are so active and chirpy and it must be very boring for her to simply sit in a cramped fashion and stare. What could she be thinking? How long will she have to sit? Let's learn patience from her and watch :)


  1. This is the time when bulbuls look for places to nest, they were looking for a suitable place in our rooms, but I had to shoo them out, because of the fans:(
    Sometime last year they had built a nest in our mukha mantapa, but they abondoned it.
    It is a pleasure to see them busy at nest building, it is really one of the wonders of nature.

  2. Your story on Bulbul's nesting was very interesting.I have experience with pigeons, but haven't seen bubuls. Pigeons are very bold and live with human beings.Once there were continuous process of delivering babies in my balcony.One after another pigeons used come to my delivary ward for safe delivery.

  3. @Lakshmi
    True, nest building is really one of nature's wonders. Once upon a time, building nests in people's homes used to be the sparrow's birthright! They have abandoned us now :(
    How wonderful! Pigeons, I think, feel quite safe in human company.


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