Red-whiskered Bulbul: 3. The egg hatched… then tragedy

posted in: Nesting-failed, Videography | 0

Nest building by the pair of Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) in the Belimbing (Averrhoa carambola) tree is posted HERE while an account of the incubation can be viewed HERE.

After about 12 days of incubation, there were signs that an egg had hatched.

On the evening of the 12th day, the arrivals and departures from the nest increased significantly, as compared to the incubation period. Setting up a video camera near the nest and leaving it there for two hours provided interesting information.

Whereas during incubation there were few movements in and out of the nest, the hatching of the first egg saw about three times more movements. The adults arrived more often (between 2-20 seconds) and were absent from the nest for shorter periods (between 1 second and 11 minutes).

There were plenty of singing during this period. An adult even sang after entering the nest, a situation not seen during incubation when entry into and exit from the nest were done stealthily. Then there were even duetting. There was even an incident when, as soon as an adult flew from the nest, another flew in.

The day after the egg hatched, the pair of adults was as usual busy flying in and out of the nest bringing food for the chick. As the nest was hidden behind the foliage, the chick was not seen. However the adults were caught on video on at least two occasions with food between the mandibles as they entered the nest.

By late morning the nest was abandoned. The video above shows that everything was normal until some loud and strange calls were heard towards the end. Can this be the call of a predator? And that the predator took off with the chick? Could it be a squirrel? Any opinion by anyone would be appreciated.

By evening there were no activities around the nest. The next morning when the Red-whiskered Bulbuls were not seen around the tree, the nest was checked. It was empty with no sign of the chick.

Another failed nesting!

YC Wee
May 2015

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