Wednesday, February 3

The new neighbors

IMPORTANT NOTE:  All photos here were taken through a spotting scope from a distance to avoid disturbing the nesting barbets.  NEVER harass nesting birds, expose the nest or stay within the nest area for extended periods of time. It may seem like common sense to keep away from nests, but sometimes curiosity can get the better of us.  For other common sense bird photography reminders, check out:

For several weeks now, Adri and I have noticed high barbet activity. Barbets would be calling their distinct pok-pok-pok-pok call most of the day, even in the evening and the wee hours of the morning!

These 2 barbets have been pok-pok-pok-pok-ing all day (and sometimes even at night!

They've been quite easy to spot especially on the trees with hardly leaf cover!

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered a possible nest hole across the street, and we were very excited!  It would be a new nest record in our "backyard" (strictly speaking it wasn't in OUR yard, or even in the back). We've observed Yellow-vented Bulbuls, Pied Trillers, Pied Fantails, Eurasian Tree Sparrows and even Philippine Pygmy Woodpeckers nesting, but no barbets yet.

Last weekend, we were outside when we heard the familiar barbet call again.  We glanced at the nesting tree, and to our delight, a barbet seemed to be inspecting the nest hole and cleaning it out!

Inspecting the hole: it's amazing how they fit exactly in the perfectly round entrance.

We set up the scope in our yard, searching for a clear view between the trees (and fences, and electric wires, and street signs!).

It's confirmed, we have new neighbors!  

Several consecutive holes: alternate entrances? decoys?

I hope the nesting is successful! We'll be sure to check out the nest hole every now and then for updates.

Each of the pair entered a different hole for the night. Very interesting!

Yay to a bird-friendly neighborhood!