A pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) built their nest in a pot of orchid that hangs over a pond (below).
Soon, two chicks appeared in the nest and both the adults took turns flying to the nest to feed the hungry chicks (below).
Then came the time for the chicks to fledge (below).
An adult would perch in view of the nest but looking away (below), unlike during feeding when it perches facing the nest, looking around surreptitiously before flying in to feed the nestlings. The adult was obviously encouraging the chick to take the first flight and leave the nest.
In my photo taken through the wet glass door, the parent bird returned to encourage the reluctant chick to fledge… and was facing the same way (below).
The older chick fledged successfully (below), leaving the younger chick in the nest.
Sad to say, the younger chick failed to fledge successfully. As the pond was below the nest, though a little to the side, if the fledgling had fallen straight down it would have landed on dry ground. But it must have flown just a little distance before plunging straight into the pond and drowned (below).
Moral of the story: don’t force your kids to attempt tasks beyond their ability… the chick was probably “forced” out of the nest by hunger when it wasn’t quite ready to fly
Dr Jean Ho
7th July 2018