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Paddyfield Pipit’s failed nesting

on 9th June 2010

Dr Jeff Lim’s encounter with an inexperienced pair of breeding Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) in May 2010 ended in tragedy. Jeff needed some persuasion to post his observation, as he would have preferred a story with a happy ending. However, he has been convinced that this is an interesting behaviour that has not been reported by most observers.

The pair of pipits built their nest well camouflaged in a bushy plant and laid three eggs (above left). Unfortunately the plant was right in the middle of a garden. And into the third week of nesting, an egg was lost when the gardener exposed the straw colored dome by trimming, leaving the contents perfectly exposed to the elements (above centre).

The brooding parent took pains to shelter their exposed eggs from rain and fought hard with the pair of nesting Long-Tailed Shrikes (Lanius schach) raiding their nest. The pipits lost and the nest was abandoned, leaving behind two spotty eggs with one broken (above right). As Jeff puts it, “Notice the nest transformation from one of order to the current disarray.”

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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