Christmas sunbird story: 1. Introducing the family

on 7th January 2017

“I have learned a lot over the past few weeks about the nesting of Olive-backed Sunbirds (Nectarinia jugularis) from your BESG website. I had myself a fascinating experience that I posted on my FB site LINK.

“I would love to receive some feedback on the behaviour of the Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) that took hostage of the chick of the Olive-backed Sunbirds.

“The remarkable story of ‘Peanut’ the Olive-backed Sunbird chick who had an incredible zest for life took place over the Christmas period and was regularly updated by me on my own facebook page, until I buried her. Here is the full photo story.

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 1

“When I came back to Bangkok last week (after 3 months absence) several birds appeared to have made nests in the jungle that my terrace had become. The most active and successful couple was this pair of tiny Olive-backed Sunbirds that had built a bottle-shaped hanging nest in my bougainville vine outside my bedroom window (above).

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 2

“Above the opening there is a clever protective roof (above) and the inside has nice soft lining. The nest has one tiny egg.

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 3

“Above is Olive, happily incubating her egg. Little could she, her partner Sunny Boy, nor myself, imagine the turn this story would take. I have still dozens more photos of these first days to remember the ‘happy period’…

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 4

“The male Olive-backed Sunbird near the nest. I named him Sunny Boy (above).

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 5

“The female Olive is a bit further away, always watching if it is safe to go to her nest (above).

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 6

“Olive, our mother sunbird (above).

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 7

“Sunny Boy, the father sunbird with metallic blue throat (above).

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 8

“This morning (23rd December 2016), a chick appeared to have hatched out of the egg; mama Olive was coming and going to the nest all the time, feeding the chick (above)…

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 9

“…as well as sitting in the nest, as she had done all last week when she was still incubating the egg (above).

sunbird Nest [HenriettaJansen] 10

“24th December, baby bird is one day old. Lots of activity around the nest and lots of distress as well. Here is Sunny Boy, the father, drinking nectar from flowers on my terrace (above).”

Henriette Jansen
Bangkok, Thailand
1st January 2017

The second part will be posted tomorrow when tragedy struck…

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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