Common Tailorbird collects fibres for its nest

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David Tan was at the newly opened University Town in February 2012 where he photographed a Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) clinging onto the bark of a newly planted Pulai tree (Alstonia scholaris). The tailorbird was repeatedly reaching out to the piece of cloth-like material used to cushion the trunk from the support struts, grabbing clumps of fibres from it. With its bill full of fibres, it flew off, presumable to build its nest.

“It’s also quite interesting to see how the tailorbird is able to balance itself on the sheer vertical face of the trunk in spite of its body shape, its upward-pointing tail, and the fact that its anisodactyl feet are more suitable for perching than clinging, which is very unlike the stiff tail feathers and the zygodactyl toe arrangement that allows woodpeckers to cling effectively onto vertical surfaces,” wrote David. “Perhaps its low body mass makes such a balancing act easier for the common tailorbird.”

Check out this LINK to read about the Olive-backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) behaving similarly at the newly opened Gardens by the Bay in Marina South. Details of the Common Tailorbird nest can be viewed HERE.

David Tan
Singapore
July 2012

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