Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Bulbul's nest - from eggs to fledglings in just a month

On 23 Feb 2015, we discovered a small nest with two tiny eggs hidden amongst the leaves of our bamboo plant. We found out the next day that they belonged to a pair of yellow-vented bulbuls that had chosen this plant in our car porch and under our living-room window as a safe place to bring up a family and we were of course thrilled no end. I was especially looking forward to the bulbul parents showing the little ones how to fly when the time comes. 
So for a month we watched and were watched in turn by the suspicious and annoyed bulbul parents as we sat on the bench a distance away from the nest pointing our cameras in the direction of the nest. We recorded their feeding activities every morning with our cameras and were amazed how the little birds grew from featherless and helpless creatures to fluffy fledglings in the span of a month. We saw how the parents fed them tirelessly every day at specific times bringing and feeding the hungry mouths berries, insects, some kind of grub and sometimes they gave in to temptation and ate the food instead of feeding their kids. We were 'scolded' by one of the bulbuls when we went too near the nest while cleaning the porch. I have a recording of this bird perched on top of our gate and letting out a stream of gutteral chirps as if telling us about its displeasure and telling us to buzz off.

One morning, a day before the passing on of our founding father Lee Kuan Yew, one of the fledglings fell off the nest and attempted to fly away. It got as far as our front gate and then turned to fly inwards. We tried to catch it to put it back on the nest and succeeded after a few attempts and were probably watched by the anxious parents. We knew as we put the little bird back on the nest that that escape episode would jeopardize our relationship with these beautiful creatures. We knew that when it comes to the safety of children, parents are single-minded in ensuring that they are kept out of harm's way. We only prayed that the bulbul parents would trust us enough not to do anything drastic. We were wrong for the entire family of birds abandoned us that very day. It was a very sad moment to come home in the afternoon after a morning outing to see an empty nest that looked as thought it had just been completed. How the bulbul parents managed to move two fledglings that could barely fly was a puzzle we could never solve. They just disappeared! No farewell and no goodbyes. An empty nest and an emptiness in our hearts and they have only been around for a month. Adios and we say a prayer for you, lovely bulbul family and pray that you are safe somewhere. Here are the photos, not necessarily in chronological order but they will show you why we got to be so fond of them.


No comments: