Monday, May 1

The nesting neighbors, Part 2

While the barbets were busy with their family, the Yellow-vented Bulbuls were also off to a prolific start.  As I was seated on a garden bench, a pair of bulbuls kept  circling around me, busy catching moths in flight and looking around, under and over each and every bush.  That they were too busy to  pay me much mind was a sure sign that they had only one goal: to feed a growing nestling!  I watched them closely and sure enough both of them headed straight for a low branch of the rambutan tree, to be met with the eager chirping of two fledglings!

A very hungry baby

I am always amazed at the amount of energy invested in raising a family.  I doubt any small insect or moth has much of a chance surviving when there is a bulbul pair agressively hunting them down to feed a hungry chick. 

An adult scouring every nook and cranny for food

In this case, there were 2 chicks - little balls of feathers with hardly any tails and huge mouths agape. They were big and strong enough to jump around nearby branches, getting uber excited when one of the adults lands nearby.  

Two balls of feathers patiently waiting for mom and dad...

... and they go crazy when mom/dad come with food!

I was quite afraid they would miss their mark as they tried to out jump/ out fly each other in order to get to the parent before its sibling.

Knowing there was a pair of fledglings in the yard, it was easy to keep track of them over the days.  The eager chirping would easily give away which tree they were in. They stayed around the garden for a couple of weeks, and began to stray from back to front yard as they grew more confident in their flight.

Growing older and getting bigger

But no less demanding!

Sadly, only one of the fledglings apparently made it to adulthood from what I could tell. While watering the plants in the garden, Kuya Ramil found a young dead bulbul in the leaf litter, being consumed by ants.

Over before it really began for this little one.

"I think it was one of the ones we were keeping track off," he told me.

Sure enough, an adult flew past us followed by a single noisy, nagging young bird.  I remember WBCP-er Des telling us that only one in ten tropical nests are successful, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise to find the young dead bird.

I wonder what caused its death though?  It was quite strong and developed already.  Did the parents not have enough energy to raise 2 birds to full adulthood?  Did it meet an untimely death with an encounter with a predator?  Was it an accident?

I suppose we will never know.  

I've seen at least two new bulbul nests in the yard, most probably from different pairs, but maybe a second nest for the season for the parents.

Hopefully, this one made it.

And life goes on for the garden bulbuls. 

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