Oriental White-eye nest destroyed by sunbird

on 9th April 2016

WhiteEyeO-SunbirdOB nest destroy [JWee]

Johnny Wee came across an Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) in its nest (above) that was chased off by an aggressive female Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis).

WhiteEyeO-SunbirdOB nest destroy [JWee]

The sunbird then started dismantling the white-eye’s nest bit by bit before flying off (above).

WhiteEyeO-SunbirdOB nest destroy [JWee]

An hour later when Johnny checked on the nest, it was totally destroyed (above). Most of the materials were lying on the ground below (below).

WhiteEyeO-SunbirdOB nest destroy [JWee]

Ng Bee Choo and Morten Strange did encounter a Brown-throated Sunbird destroying an Olive-backed Sunbird nest (Nectarinia jugularis) but not a white-eye’s. Morten believes that the Brown-throated Sunbird was stealing the nesting materials of the white-eyes.

Subaraj Rajathurai, who identified the sunbird as a female Brown-throated, added that his reasons were “…the more robust appearance combined with the pale area above and below the eye, the duller yellow below.”

Subaraj further added: “Oriental White-eyes were originally introduced and while they are constantly spreading and growing in numbers, the sunbird is the senior resident who is larger, stronger and more aggressive, thus able to help itself to whatever materials that are available nearby for her own nest-building.”

Johnny Wee, Subaraj Rajathurai, Ng Bee Choo & Morten Strange
24th March 2016
(Images by Johnny Wee)

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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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