Yellow-vented Bulbul: Recycling old nests?

posted in: Nesting | 3

About three years ago, a pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) built a nest in one of CK Kim‘s plants from which two chicks fledged. A year age he noticed that another nest was built. Then two weeks ago there was another nesting. And according to CK, there are now three and a half nests in the same small plant.

What this means is that these bulbuls do not recycle their nest material or reuse them.

The nesting bulbuls took turns incubating the eggs but did not remain all the time in the nest, unlike the Pink-necked Green Pigeons (Treron vernans) LINK. The incubating bird left the nest 5-8 times a day, spending about 20 minutes or so away. Came nighttime, it returned and remained in the nest for the night. “But each nite when the sky darkens and noise level comes down, around say 8+pm, she dips her entire head into the nest. So one glance, you won’t know or see the bird,” wrote CK.

Tissue paper appeared to be the favourite nesting material, as seen in the above images. Check this LINK for a Yellow-vented Bulbul’s nest where much more tissue paper is used.

CK Kim
June 2011


3 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing your observations based on 1 particular plant which yvbs built subsequent nests on same plant.
    You mentioned to say, ‘ What this means is that bulbuls do not recycle their nesting material or reuse them’.
    I may have to disagree on that statement CK.

    My balcony is a favourite place for yvbs who every year without fail provides at least 2 clutchs of eggs using the same nesting site- which is the hanging macrame (robe contraption flowerpot holder).
    What the parental pair did was just reinforcing the old nesting site with new materials and did abit of readjustments to the old site year after year.

    Since you have generously shared your observation, give me some time when in my writing mood to dig up my files and do a write up to substantiate what I just mentioned.

    For now to enjoy my article to show the macrame nesting site, please refer to my old postings on nesting of yvb in this website.
    You have to do some searching to get to my articles these days as since the website has been reformated to give a new look, the category of Avian Writer was removed.
    To make it easier on you, just type Avian Writer on search box and you will find all my articles there that may interest you.

    Happy observing

    Daisy O’Neill

  2. Lena Chow wrote in to say that YVB certainly do recycle their nests…

    Now we have Daisy saying the same. However, the fact that there were three disused nests in CK’s plant suggests that there was no recycling here. Most probably some YVB do and some don’t recycle. Can nest hygiene be a factor? And other unknown factors as well? We need more observations…


    Correct. Some do some dont and the YVB’s has shown in observations to be such versatile birds and in large numbers commonly found, they can afford to choose any place seemingly simple or fancyful to recycle or not.




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