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 her new-born babies, although I suspect that she has become used to my presence during the past fortnight and has concluded that I am no threat to her.

The still-naked baby birds are unlikely to win any beauty contests and the sharp contrast between the rather ugly hatchlings and the amazingly elegant adult ones cannot possibly be more pronounced. The young ones seem to be still blind (or at least keep their eyes closed), but they are certainly not deaf – as soon as they hear the sound of parting leaves and branches they are quick to raise and open their surprisingly large mouths. But when the expected food isn’t forthcoming, they tire quickly and collapse soon in a heap. I am curious what the mother bird will feed them and whether the fourth egg hatches too…

Taiwan Bulbul Hatchlings

Taiwan Bulbul Hatchlings

Taiwan Bulbul in Nest

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