06 March, 2016

Watching Bulbuls

I'm an unabashed admirer of birds......especially, their nest building skills.

Earlier on, I had made an attempt to record the happenings at a bulbul's nest (Here). Unfortunately, things hadn't proceeded as expected and the fairy tale ended even before it began.  Since then, whenever I see a pair of birds building a nest in our garden, I pray that things work out smoothly, and leave the birds alone.

However, a few days ago, it was a little too difficult for me to ignore. A pair of bulbuls had chosen to build their nest on the Bird's Head Birthwort creeper....almost touching the window of my office-cum-study.

Paragon of patience 
I tried to be as non-intrusive as possible as I watched all the comings and goings whenever I could. When the comings and goings became less frenzied, I realised that the nest was ready and the eggs had been laid. My vantage point provided me with a rear view of the bird, and I couldn't stop myself from taking this pic!!

The wary look!
Soon, the frenzied activities resumed. The chicks had arrived!! Two...., and they seemed to be perpetually hungry!
 They would lie low, very quietly, until they sensed the parent's arrival. Then, they would really beg and clamour for food!!
 Such variety of food the parents brought, you know! From wild berries & insects to pieces of dosas, etc! My respect for the birds increased as I watched them break each item of food in their mouths before dropping them into the mouths of the babes.... Even the berries were crushed into juice!!

Every time they arrived with food, the parent bulbuls threw a glance at me, and it made me quite uncomfortable! It was obvious that they were aware of my peeping presence.  I felt guilty about not letting them feed their little ones in peace and withdrew.

Catching cricket!
My absence from the vicinity seemed to have made a difference. The parent birds no longer looked around before landing on the nest.
While I missed my view of the nest, keeping the window open gave me a view of the food that was being brought. 
By now, some bigger birds had also noticed the frenzied activities. Some of them started lurking around. The bubuls responded by spending more time near the nest. One or the other would always be perched on the cable nearby.

The Brahminy Kites gave up as soon as they realised that their size wouldn't allow them to reach the nest. But, there was this determined female cuckoo, trying to squeeze in and cause harm. Thankfully, the more determined bulbuls succeeded in chasing her away - every time.
Moral of the story - Unity is strength..... 

Fallen babe
After one such attempt by the cuckoo, one of the chicks fell off the nest. I could see it right below the window. It was lying still. Not dead....scared, probably. I wished I could convey what I knew to the parent birds. Since it was so close to the nest, all I could do was hope that the parent birds would sense the chick's presence when it made some movement.

Where's my baby?
My heart went out to the parent bulbuls as I caught them looking here and there, tweeting,... obviously searching for their lost little one. What touched me even more was that throughout the ordeal, they had not forgotten to feed the one in the nest!

Well....My day got busier and it was almost 24 hours before I could check on the bulbuls.

While I was wondering about the zero activity near the nest, I saw the parent birds taking food into the shrubbery nearby.... The family had moved! Obviously, the chicks were now too big for the nest and strong enough to cling on to twigs.
A couple of days later, I saw a juvenile bulbul flying about unsteadily. It was probably one or the other of the two chicks, on its way out of the nest.....

And, so, ended my second attempt at watching the nest of a bulbul..... I would have loved to watch the re-union, the moving-out ..... Next time, I guess!!


  1. Nice one.... Great spending so much of time with birds

  2. Nice one.... Great spending so much of time with birds

    1. Thanks... I would advice everyone to spend some time watching birds/ animals.It is a very humbling experience!


Century on the Bronze Anniversary!

This is my100th post, and today is the eighth birthday of Alter Idem !! That's an average of a post per month......1.04 to be precise!!...