Olive-backed Sunbird: Removal of faecal sac

posted in: Sunbirds, Waste | 3

It is always exciting to witness an adult Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) arriving at the nest where the chick, with its head sticking out of the entrance, bill gaping wide, begged loudly to be fed. Photographers have always documented such intimate moments, not to mention when the adult inserted its long bill deep in the throat of the chick, as if to place the food morsel right inside the crop.

However, the removal of faecal matter immediately after the feeding has not been always photographed. This time, after the chick was fed and it turned around and offered its posterior end to the adult, Mark G. a.k.a. strobby was ready. When a whitish faecal sac emerged from its vent and the adult gingerly picked it, he documented the moment (left).

The adult flew off to dispose the sac elsewhere so that the wastes do not collect below the nest and attract the attention of potential predators by the smell.

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

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3 Responses

  1. […] to remove the nest for you, since they have protective gear. European hornet nest removal: …Bird Ecology Study Group Olive-backed Sunbird: Removal of …Olive-backed Sunbird: Removal of faecal sac. Posted by BESG on 2 July 09, Thursday. Contributed by […]

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  2. […] The case of the Peaceful Dove (Geopelia striata) whose nest is filthy is a case in point (left). Normally doves and pigeone are careful defecating when incubating and brooding. Similarly, chicks are careful where they deposit their wastes. And in many species the adult remove chicks’ wastes via faecal sacs. […]

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  3. […] chick, the adults were not seen removing and disposing any faecal sacs after the feeding – see HERE. Bulbul chicks dispose of their wastes packaged in gelatinous sacs. The ejection of these sacs was […]

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