©Nest Building- A Different Approach by Black & Red Broadbill Pair

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“Field guides mention Black-and-Red Broadbills’ (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) nests to be built mainly near water source of semi-/evergreen forests edge of freshwater swamp and mangrove forests.

“Two examples here show untidy nests over water, within the range of 1.5-8m above water level (above).

“Two more nests examples found suspended from edge of bamboo branch over a land trail in a National Park. A sluggish stream was nearby (above).

“An accidental find, more recently mid-June this year had an active nest hung from a terminal branch of a rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) tree. The nest was no more than three metres off ground, in a private small holding orchard, near a bamboo grove and away from any water source.

“A location with a difference (left)?

“Had not the coarse, quacking calls of this Black & Red Broadbill with a beakful of nesting material, that flew in and perched partially from view in the fruit tree and gave itself away, I would have missed locating the nest completely (below left).

“A closer, interesting view of the nest showed unusual two entries-an anterior upper and a lower side. The latter appeared to be a fresh attempt to patch up the entrance. The overall was an untidy profusion of nesting materials haphazardly put together with a little clever, well thought after usage of parasitic creepers to look old and disused (above right).

“Was this a mistake of an inexperienced nest builder with location and architectural plans all went wrong?

“Do broadbills recycle their nests?

“Who would expect such elegant, well groomed looking, green eyed jeweled of a bird species such as this Black-and-Red Broadbill to be an untidy and reckless nest builder for the world to view (left)?

“Perhaps it is their characteristic indifference in untidy nest building that set them apart from others ……that make them ever so interesting, creatures of the wild.”
Avian Writer Daisy O’Neill
Copyright article and all Image copies: Courtesy of Daisy O’Neill Bird Conservation Fund
Penang Malaysia

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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