Our post on the “Nesting of Olive-backed Sunbird in the HDB heartland” attracated the attention of Robert Breinl who wrote: “A small sunbird family lives in our house for three generations now. They use secure dangly twisted wire nesting hooks especially hung from inner house ceiling. The birds communicate with us and we tweet tweet back to them most of the time. They fly straight through in and out from our house rooms, and they perform amazing close up hanging and flying stunts for our entertainment. Sometimes the chicks get to mature jump nest and to nest again. The other half of the time the chicks end up dead for some reason or other.”
On 1st November 2010, Bob sent in his images of the nest and an update: “Last night the mamabird didn’t sleep in the nest and this morning both mamabird and papabird were distressed and didn’t go to or into the nest. Sadly, I found two ant-covered dead chicks in the nest.
“There have been three nesting at our house in the last two years. The first was just outside, under a roof overhang. The chicks were taken from the nest by mynah bird predators. Then we fixed some attractive wire nesting hangers from the ceiling inside the house (above).
“The birds moved inside the house, built a new nest and did a successful hatch. One of the new females (the bird in the photo) then reused the nest for its first egg laying. But alas, the hatchlings sadly dead this morning.
“This afternoon however, two adults were together again hanging and flying off another piece of wire dangle in another part of the house. If the nest of bad ant memories is abandoned, we hope the birdies will be back soon to build another nest on the other wire dangle as they have shown interest.
“They are interactive with us humans, communicating a friendly trusting knowing companionship.”
Leena Taneja Rao
Could it be that the chicks were given contaminated food, as I have noticed that fogging with insecticide is a regular feature around housing estates in Singapore?