“Along the bank of a lazy river in Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia, a feisty flock of Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) was frequently visiting the vertical trunks of the nibong palm (Oncosperma tigillarium). Atop one of these trunks, as many as six birds were perched (above).
“Amidst their chatter, one or two would take turns to poke their heads into the cavity below, possibly inspecting its suitability as a potential nest site. Shortly after, the birds flew away, but a pair soon returned with fresh, supple green leaves in their beaks (above). These leaves were then carefully dropped into the cavity. This process would then be repeated to accumulate more nesting material.
“One cool morning, a pair was perched on the rim of the cavity as they casually preened themselves (above).
“Thereafter, they remained in close contact, side by side, wing to wing, tail touching tail, while watching the sunrise over the river (above). An affectionate moment indeed, and a clear sign of intimate bonding between the pair.”
Dr Leong Tzi Ming
20th November 2012