A family of Pied Fantail

on 19th August 2008

Lee Tiah Khee managed to photograph a family of Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) at the nest, something that is not an easy thing to do. Usually, as one adult arrives, the other flies off.


The nest is a neat cup bound firmly onto the slender prongs of a near-horizontal branch fork. According to Wells (2007), the nest is made of bamboo leaves or lalang grass (Imperata cylindrical) and other dead leaves. On the outside of the nest are fungal hyphae, cobwebs and hairs. The inner cup is lined with fine fibres, sometimes with some dried mud.

Both adults help in nest building, incubation and brooding.

Usually two eggs are laid at an interval of one day and once the last egg is laid, incubation begins. Incubation period has been reported to be 12-15 days, fledging 14-15 days.

The two chicks in the picture were photographed just before they fledged.

Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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