Common Tailorbird nesting

posted in: Nesting | 3

“These past 2-3 weeks we have noticed that our resident Common Tailorbirds (Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis) have been very much more present and vocal in the front (centre) of our garden where we sit for meals. We suspected nesting but they have been very careful to mislead us by focusing our attention on the sides of the garden when they notice us watching (also been busy and unwell so limited attention given). Yesterday had some prolonged time in the garden and spotted their nest. Also possibly because the chicks have just hatched so feeding episodes allow better localising of the nest.

“Before I describe the nest, I should say a few words about our garden. Although we live in a very urban setting we have allowed our garden to grow ‘wild’. Our ground cover is very diverse with many plants intermingled – Money plants trailing (Epipremnum aureum), Wild Strawberries (Fragaria vesca), Daun Kaduk (Piper sarmentosum), Pinto Peanut Arachis pintoi, Cosmos sulphureus, Chilli plants, other herbs, etc, etc. So some parts are rather thick with vegetation.

“The nest is located just 2.5 meters from where we sit in the patio, adjacent to our front garden wall and just 0.25 meters above the ground (an estimate). It is made up of two money plant leaves and very hard to spot (top). One leave (now yellow and dying) is the primary one and curled to offer the main nesting site. The other has been connected to offer a side support. The entrance is located where the first leave is attached to the plant. [The above-left image is taken from the side, with the nest obscured; that on the right shows the adult male entering the nest.]”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Canning Garden Home, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
10th June 2012

Disclosure: Only one visit was made to the nest when both parents were away. No attempt to touch the nest or disturb the surrounding vegetation. Brief episode to get some images and no flash used.

Follow 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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