“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
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