Nesting of the Black-naped Oriole: 1. Incubation

on 24th April 2011

“A Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) nest was exposed when the Broad-leaved Mahogany tree (Swietenia macrophylla), in which the nest was built, shed all its leaves towards the end of Feb 2011.

“I discovered it, in my condo, by chance on 2 Mar when I tried to locate the orioles which kept singing near the tree, perhaps making territorial calls or trying to distract me and unwittingly led me to the discovery.

“My first impression was that it was an empty nest, as I thought birds would time their nesting to tie in with the aging cycles of trees. However, I soon realised that this was a live nest.

“I have made a video documenting the behaviours of the orioles while incubating the eggs in the nest. It was edited from video clips recorded from 2 to 12 Mar.

“During this period, the female spent its time mostly in the nest. However, it would leave the nest whenever it sensed danger. The male would be nearby taking care of unwelcome visitors such as House Crows and Asian Koels.

“In the video, you can also hear the alarm calls of a Common Tailorbird, various songs of Black-naped Oriole, the peaceful calls of a distant Striped-tit Babbler, annoying caws of a House Crow, soothing calls of a Spotted Dove, irritating calls of a male Asian Koel, the lovely melody of an Oriental Magpie Robin, ending with the raucous sound from some quarrelling Javan Mynas.

“In between, there were man-made noises from a maid washing a car below the tree at the car park.

“Notice that @32 sec the female Oriole in the nest was looking at me below the tree, perhaps wondering what was this guy up to. My camera had an articulate LCD screen which was adjusted in such a way that I was looking at the bird in a different direction. It helped to allay the suspicion of the bird.”

Sun Chong Hong
25th March 2011

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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