An unusual nesting site of Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

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“The Red-Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) is probably one of the most common birds in North Kerala, India, inhabiting lightly wooded areas with bushes and shrubs, and urban gardens close to human habitations. The breeding season generally occurs during November to May and clutches typically contain two to three eggs. Nesting site is usually fairly low in a shrub, vine or small tree or even potted plants close to human habitations. At times it is known to build nests even inside houses and huts, and man-made structures such as chandeliers, lamp shades and fans. For the past 3 years a pair of Red-whiskered Bulbuls ingeniously built their nest on a coil of TV cable wire under the roof in the terrace of our house at Kozhikode, Kerala, India (below).

“Twice the pair abandoned construction of the nest midway. Though apparently well protected from adverse environment and predators, most of the time the fledglings were predated by Jungle Crows (Corvus culminatus) and feral cats when they alighted in open areas on the parapet of the terrace after their hesitant first flight. Out of 8 eggs laid during the past 3 years, though all of them hatched, 4 were predated in the nest itself and 3 were predated by Jungle Crows and feral cats as they took their first flight out of the nest. The former always waited in anticipation on a nearby tree for an opportune moment to predate on eggs and fledglings. Only a single fledging has so far escaped the attention of these predators probably because it landed on a small bushy tree after its first flight. In spite of all these adversaries and low nesting success, the pair continues to attempt to raise their brood in this inconvenient location.”

S. Devasahayam & Anita Devasahayam
Kozhikode, Kerala, India.
10 May 2018


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