Yellow-vented Bulbul: Food for the nestlings

posted in: Feeding chicks | 9

The Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) is one of the more successful urban birds in Singapore. Part of this success is its ability to adapt to its food source. It is omnivorous, that is, it will eat insects as well as a range of fruits.

At the same time it also scavenge on scraps of discarded food. Newly hatched nestlings are fed with insects and other invertebrates. The growing nestlings require a constant supply of protein. This keeps the parents busy bringing such food constantly.

Almost every garden in Singapore will have at least a pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls. On certain months of the year the loud and somewhat pleasant bubbling songs in the early morning and later evening are music to the ear.

These birds are so used to humans that they will build their nests among ornamental plants grown in gardens or in potted plants placed in balconies or even along the verandahs of high-rise apartment buildings. The nests are deep cups made from grass, dry leaves, etc. Looking untidy from the outside, it is neatly lined inside.

Lena Chow recently sent an image of a pair nesting among her artificial plants (below). Talk about getting used to urban living…

Images of bulbul by Tang Hung Bun; nesting among artificial plant by Lena Chow; input by YC.

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9 Responses

  1. Just curious, where is the location of the yellow-vented bulbul’s nest in this photo? I have never witnessed such daring feat in my life.

    Btw, keep up the good work! I’ve always enjoyed this blog. 🙂

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  2. The pot of artificial plant was in Lena’s garage. The success of the blog is due to the generosity of people sharing their stories and images.

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  3. Saw this article linked by tomorrow.sg: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/world/asia/08singapore.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1163079467-VEfe/tp6s+ZrV2g8mZVUug

    with the disturbing lines:

    “Mr. Lim, 54, is on the front lines of a battle for his country’s territorial integrity, a member of the Singapore Gun Club who has been enlisted to help reduce an infestation that at one point climbed to 150,000…. In 1982 the government asked the club to take on the crows, and Mr. Lim has been hunting them down almost from the start.

    Now he is standing by for a new challenge, the possibility of bird flu and the need to secure Singapore against migrating birds, perhaps by shooting them out of the sky.

    “I don’t know what our assignment will be,” he said. “The club has a contingency plan, all 50 shooters. The shooters will move if necessary, but I don’t know what we will do.”

    I thought the WHO/FAO and other scientific bodies had already established that eliminating migratory birds isn’t the solution?

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  4. Yes, I have read the article. Well, we should not expect gun club members to be aware that shooting migratory birds will not contain bird flu. But we should have confident that our AVA will ensure that this does not happen.

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  5. Quite frankly the reality is the “bird flu” scare is not what the media has hyped it up to be, and most people are not intelligent enough to understand the facts and merely buy into what they are fed, shooting migratory birds will not prevent it coming, and quite frankly if I saw someone shooting a bird for any other reasob than food then I would take the gun off him and return the favour, all in the name of preventing the spread of idiocy and stupidity. I could go on and on and show the truth behind the avian flu, but I have to det some work done, but I wopuld encourage people to learn the basic facts and apply some common sense.

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  6. […] June 2006 Lena reported that her bulbuls were nesting in her potted artificial grape plant that she placed in her garage. I have seen people using artificial plants for decoration. I have […]

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  7. Good post. You make some great points that most people do not fully understand.

    “These birds are so used to humans that they will build their nests among ornamental plants grown in gardens or in potted plants placed in balconies or even along the verandahs of high-rise apartment buildings. The nests are deep cups made from grass, dry leaves, etc. Looking untidy from the outside, it is neatly lined inside.”

    I like how you explained that. Very helpful. Thanks.

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  8. i found a yellow vented bulbul chick which fell out of its nest. im just wondering is there anything in particular that i should feed it? are mealworms fine? just wondering if anyone here knows waht i should give it.

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