Thursday, April 21

A backyard kind of April

With the shift in the school year calendar, it was only the sizzling hot temperatures which reminded me that it was actually summer already! Not having the time to break for the beach or head out of town to bird, I was happy to spend before- and after-school mornings and afternoons in the garden happily observing my feathered neighbors.

The Coppersmith Barbets are so-far-so-good with their nest which we first spotted in January. We hear them pok-pok-pok-ing all day, often perched just outside my window. 

Early in April, they were busy feeding their little one, flying back and forth to their nest hole.

Do you see the baby barbet?

Remember their multi-level, multi-hole nest?  It seems that the Eurasian Tree Sparrows are trying to take over one of the holes!


The barbets of course would have none of that! They tirelessly defend their territory and constantly chase away the little marauders.

Barbet versus Tree Sparrow!

The other birds are not a problem though, they are happy to share a perch with the Golden-bellied Gerygones for instance.

It's not only the barbets who have a family to raise.  Some Colasisis have been moving about the garden, a female with 2 young ones in tow.

They're in the backyard, in the front yard, across the street, at the side yard... everywhere! 
I've seen them nibbling at the fire tree flowers in front and the tamarind fruit out back.  

Sampaloc snack

They are constantly squabbling, feeding and preening.

Can you do this?

That's why the call us hanging parrots!

Young Black-naped Orioles are also quite vocal.  Here's one I caught having it's fill of duhat (jambulan) fruit. 

It's great that the young birds seem not to mind our presence so much.

One afternoon, I saw a pair of immature Asian Glossy Starlings also perched on the duhat tree!  This is a new one to the yard list.  I wouldn't have noticed them if it weren't for their metallic calls reverberating in the backyard.

My what blood red eyes you have!

Of course the kings of the backyard still remain to be the Pied Fantails.  With the BBS (backyard Brown Shrike) a no-show, they confidently patrol the entire garden plus the empty lot next door! 

The only birds they seem to ignore are the Olive-backed Sunbirds who regularly come to feed on the ornamental banana plant nectar...

... and the Zebra Doves who always seem quite docile and reticent.

The other bullies of the garden of course are the Yellow-vented Bulbuls.  They take over the bird baths and enjoy cool dips throughout the day.  A pair in the front yard have already successfully fledged a single offspring.  They're so busy looking through every nook and under leaf and corner of the garden for food to feed the young one.


A pair of Pied Trillers has also been visiting quite regularly.  I suspect they have a nest nearby too.  In the golden afternoon light, their black and white (and grey in the case of the female) is uber-elegant.

We've also begun to notice an obviously growing population of Crested Mynas in the neighborhood.  You can't miss them, white wing spots obvious in flight, and loud, musical calls when they are perched.

Front yard Brown Shrike is still here, although I expect him to leave any day now. He is not as territorial as before and is now bullied by the Bulbuls as well (probably defending their nest).

Another migrant which we were pleasantly surprised to see is a Peregrine Falcon.  Faaaaaar from our yard, we have seen him perched several times on a communications tower almost a kilometer away from our house!  Adri first spotted him while he was observing the barbets at their nest.  Bored waiting, he scanned the communications tower and Voila! A Peregrine Falcon!  (We even got Maia to spot it from her house... although now we realise she was looking at a DIFFERENT tower. Was it the SAME falcon? She writes about it here

Digiscoped from a kilometer away!

So the backyard birds have been good in keeping me entertained as I am stuck in the city for the summer.  I expect more activity as the migrants begin to leave and the residents are busy more nests and young birds.

In fact, it's not just the birds who have been keeping me entertained.  Look who else has been procreating!

Tree frogs Polypedates leucomystax in loving embrace.

No comments:

Post a Comment