Nesting of the Rufescent Prinia

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“The Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens extrema) is unusual in that it makes a nest very much like that of tailorbirds. I noticed a pair carrying prey and, after some time of observation, managed to locate the nest. (Above is an overview of the nest.)

“They had built a nest on a slope along the logging trail, 0.5-0.6 meters above ground. The nest used two leaves stitched together with silk (spider web) used to plug holes. Some of the silk was stretched and pulled into another hole or across opening of the two leaves. (Above and below are close ups of the nest.)

“The nest was padded with dried grass and other vegetable matter. An overhanging leaf gave some camouflage. Stitching is not as neat or comprehensive as I am used to with the Common Tailorbird. Madoc is noted to have observed that the nest of the Rufescent Prinia is not lined with tree cotton like the tailorbirds.

“The calls made when the prinias when carrying prey and became aware of my watching them can be heard HERE. These calls were made repeatedly over 4-5 minutes. I consider them concern calls. They subsequently tried to lead me quite far from the nest so as to distract me.

“Animal prey brought to the chicks included a small grasshopper, small white objects possibly aphids, small invertebrates, etc.”

Disclosure of nesting interference:
“Total time near the nest was for about 50-60 seconds. Closest approach to the nest was 3 meters for some quick images. The rest of the 45 minute observation was conducted from a safe distance (excess of 15 meters) with minimal images. I did not approach the nest to look into the opening from above.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
30th January 2014

Location: Ulu Kinta Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Ex-logging trail through mixed secondary jungle bordered by primary jungle

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