Common Tailorbird: 2. Disaster…

on 12th March 2013

Part 1 of nest building by a pair of Common Tailorbirds can be viewed HERE.

“As the nest progressed our excitement grew. We were looking forward to watching nesting & feeding episodes inside the nest (by remote video).

“However by Day 10 we began to get concerned as the nest was a sagging and the leaf looked unhealthy. By Day 12, since onset of nest construction, we knew the nest was doomed. The leaf had started to die and more importantly it became too heavy to support and stared to tilt ground-ward. We suspect they had damaged the stalk and also packed too much into the nest (above).

“By Day 12 the nest was basically complete and the female had laid eggs (retrospective observation). The tailorbirds abandoned the nest the day after.

Day 1-2: Initiation to completed stitching (04-05 July 2012)
Day 3-8: Padding of nest interior (06-11 July 2012)
Day 9: Laying of eggs (12 July 2012)

“After waiting for more than 2 weeks, hoping they might still use the nest, I decided to remove the nest for observation.

“[The image above] shows the nest from 2 views. It was 12 x 7 x 6 cm in size but bear in mind the contraction from drying. This nest had a much thicker padding that the one I previously posted. Some sections 1.5 cm thick.

“… There were three eggs in the nest, all located at the distal end, away from the opening (above). One was already cracked when I remove the nest. They were tiny at 14 x 11 mm in size. Possibly due to the time lapse they were not pale blue as expected. They had spots and speckles predominantly at the broad end (see Wells 2007) but also lighted scatted all over (below).

Note & Disclosure:
“I have previously described our wild, overgrown, very urban garden very diverse ground cover with many plants intermingled (Epipremnum aureum, Fragaria vesca, Piper sarmentosum, Arachis pintoi, Cosmos sulphureus, Colocasia esculenta, Capsicum annuum plants, other herbs, etc, etc.). We sit in our patio for lunch routinely and have a bird bath/drinking basin just a meter in front of us. Many birds will enjoy this while we are present. This new nest is merely 1.5 meters from where we sit and the tailorbirds know we can see them easily.

“No attempt to touch the nest, disturb the surrounding vegetation or use flash photography.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Datin Dr Swee-Im Lim
Canning Garden Home, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
4th July 2012

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

One Response

  1. Hi Amar+SweeIm,

    Well observed and documented and photos all so neat and prepared.
    Sometimes nests failed-due to inexperience of breeding pairs and probably this is the case of 1st. parenting pair.

    Still, your environment has allowed so many species to enjoy being at home with the resident owners themselves.



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