Common Iora collecting cocoon as nesting material

posted in: Nests | 0

“Was on my way out of this forest reserve, at the fringe, when spotted this Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia horizoptera) far away, high in a tree. It had nesting material in its beak – looked like soft cotton material possibly from a kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra).

“I scanned the tree but could not find a nest – possibly quite high up in the canopy, 8-10 meters up.

“I waited around and was rewarded with the adult collecting more material much nearer to me (above left). It was searching the leaves of trees for pupae.

“It manipulated the material for quite some time (2-3 minutes), possibly to ensure it was empty. Occasionally stopping to examine it, rest as well as sing out to the mate (above right). It pulled and stretched the material, until satisfied, then flew off to the nest (below).

“Although nests have been assumed to be held together with cobwebs, it is possible that sticky silk material from cocoons of pupae could also be used.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
15th June 2010

Note: The material collected is a cocoon of a communal-living lepidopteran species. The nest of the Common Iora covered with insect silk is shown HERE; collecting of spider silk is discussed HERE.

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