Birds

Battle for Survival

Bad news – two of the baby bulbuls were lost yesterday afternoon. I don’t know if this was a case of the mother abandoning the two weakest individuals (I believe some birds to this in order to give the strongest ones a better chance to survive) or a result of predator activity. Given the fact that I found bits and pieces of the baby birds scattered on the lawn not too far from the nest, I am inclined to believe the latter. I had been especially concerned about a possible threat posed by the White-vented Myna (Acridotheres javanicus),… Continue reading

Meet the (Bulbul) Parents

I was finally able to take a few decent shots of the bulbul couple (Pycnonotus taivanus) that set up residence in low bushes right at the entrance of our house. I have taken more pictures of the female who seems to be the only one looking after the little ones. The male does show up from time to time, as if to assert his right over the territory around the nest, but otherwise leaves all the feeding duties to his companion. As one would imagine, the female bulbul gets very busy since feeding four hungry mouths does take… Continue reading

Taiwan Bulbul – Hatchlings

The eggs have hatched! Three of the four so far, the fourth one is still intact. The mother bulbul (Pycnonotus taivanus) has diligently incubated them during the past 11 days (despite frequent rains and even a few heavy thunderstorms) and it was such a pleasure to see the baby birds emerge this afternoon! I took just one photo before the mother returned to the nest and I photographed her too – amazingly she wasn’t frightened by me or the camera, even though I held it just 15 centimetres from her face. Maybe she was simply determined to protect… Continue reading

Taiwan Bulbul – Eggs

The Taiwan Bulbul or Styan’s Bulbul (Pycnonotus taivanus) is an endemic species of bulbul that lives in eastern and southern Taiwan. These birds are very common around Taitung and often set up nests in the taller trees around our house. Recently, however, a pair of them has built theirs in the low bushes of Skyflower (Duranta erecta), right at the entrance of the house! I found this surprising as they must have noticed the rather heavy traffic of people walking in and out – now barely a metre from the nest! Also, the… Continue reading

Blue-winged Kookaburra

The Kookaburra is a stunning kingfisher found in northern and eastern Australia, the island of New Guinea and on Aru Islands in eastern Indonesia. Not only they look unusual with their comparatively large heads and contrasting feather colours, their call genuinly resembles loud human laughter. In fact, one of the four known species is commonly referred to as Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae). There are also Rufous-bellied Kookaburra (Dacelo gaudichaud) and Spangled Kookaburra (Dacelo tyro). They are carnivorous birds that feed on mice and other similar-sized mammals, lizards and larger insects. And apparently they are… Continue reading