On 29th Dec 2010, Judy Quah excitedly announced the return of the Olive-backed Sunbirds (Cinnyris jugularis) to nest in her highrise apartment balcony. This apparently is the fifth nesting, the last time was in April 2010.
Starting at around 6:30 am on 30th December, the pair of sunbirds was seen flying in and out, but only the female was busy building the nest. The male just stayed close by, often feeding on the flowers around. She continued building her nest the next day (above left).
On the third day, Judy placed some cotton wool on a nearby plant whereby the female sunbird immediately checked it out, picked up some strands and placed them on her favourite plant where she regularly fed on the nectar of the flowers. After a while she transferred the cotton wool to her nest (above centre), using it to line the nest chamber.
Judy then moved the cotton wool to the bird’s favourite plant whereby the bird again picked up some strands and placed them on another branch of the plant before picking them up and flying to the nest. She continued with this behaviour again and again. Judy then provided more cotton wool as the supply ran out.
The condition of the nest on the fourth day is shown above (right). The nest on the sixth and seventh day are shown below (left and centre respectively).
As the entrance of the nest was facing the wall, a mirror was placed on the wall to facilitate photography (above right). But unfortunately a wandering monkey found the nest on the eighth day and destroyed it. This left the female sunbird flying frantically around the destroyed nest.
We will await news from Judy as to whether the sunbirds will return to make repairs to the nest. Or return the next season…