Pied Fantail feeding a pair of chicks in the nest

on 14th August 2013

Johnny Wee‘s image above shows an adult Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) feeding one of two chicks with an insect. The chicks are tightly tugged in the nest and are about to fledge. This was around the end of July 2013.

The nesting was in the small patch of mangrove at Singapore’s Pasir Ris Park. Note that the nest is a tightly weaved structure of fibres and grasses re-enforced on on the outside with spider silk. The nest ends with a distinct but short tail.

The video clip above was taken by Jeremiah Loei showing both adults feeding the two chicks a few days earlier. Note the characteristic fanning of the tail feathers by the adults, thus the common name, fantail.

The chicks make their typical begging calls as the adults arrive with food. The chicks are restless, showing signs of impending fledging as they repeatedly flap their wings.

Nest sanitation is taken care by the adults. After feeding, the chicks will turn around and show their posterior where a white faecal sac will appear. The ever observant adults will immediately pick up the sac and dispose of it some distance away. Faecal discharge under the nest will attract potential predators.

The chicks flap their wings vigorously just before taking off on their maiden flight.

Jeremiah Loei-video & Johnny Wee-image
August 2013

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.

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