The Predator – Grey Treepie

The bulbul nest is now empty. It was a sad end of a rather exciting week which provided us with a rare opportunity to witness the arrival of new life – in the form of four helpless, naked and blind baby birds, totally dependent on their parents to bring them to adulthood. It wasn’t meant to be. As I watched the distressed bulbul mother arrive at her empty nest for the last time, realising that all that herculean effort she had put into bringing up her four offsprings came to nothing, I felt like crying. And yet, this… Continue reading

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

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