Nesting bulbul: 1. A nest outside my bedroom window

posted in: Interspecific, Nesting | 2

There is an active Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) nest less than a metre from my bedroom window (above, arrow). The pair of bulbuls had been busy bringing materials for some time and patiently weaving them into a cup-shaped nest. They must have been active for weeks but we were totally unaware of this until 22nd May 2015 when my helper Estela Acierto spotted the nest.

As she was walking past the potted Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora) bush, a bulbul flew off. Examining the plant, she spotted the nest. It was lodged at eye level between the tiny branches at the top of the plant, carefully hidden by the many small leaves.

Once the nest was spotted, we became aware of the bulbuls bringing the last few strands of material to complete the nest. They left the scene for two days before one bird was spotted sitting in the nest for short periods (above). In the evenings the nest was always occupied.

Whenever I walked by the nest, the bulbul would immediately fly off noiselessly, to return some time later. However, walking past quietly in the evenings, even within 20cm from the nest, did not alarm the bulbul – as long as there was no eye contact (below).

Observing the nest through the glass pane of the window only alarmed the bulbul when eye contact was made. It would immediately fly off.

When I first opened the window from inside my bedroom, the bulbul flew off the nest, making angry chirps. It then perched on a nearby branch, keeping an eye on me and at the same time continued scolding me. But subsequent opening of the window saw no protest. The bulbul simply flew off, most probably to forage before returning.

Opening the window during the night was not a problem. It would appear that the bulbul was confident that I would not be able to spot it in the dark. Similarly when I walked close by the nest at night, it did not fly off.

Yellow-vented Bulbul is one of the few species that coexist with humans – nesting in urban gardens, artificial plants left in the garage LINK and even in potted plants placed along corridors LINK.

The nesting is being monitored.

YC Wee
July 2015

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