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Common Tailorbird – reusing nest

on 6th August 2019

“We often have Common Tailorbirds (Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis) nesting in our garden. The recent pair built a nest about 1.5 meters above the ground (leaves of a young fig tree) and the brood fledged in the second week of June 2019. We had left the nest alone, as two the leaves stitched together were still green and the nest offered an opportunity to display it to children and budding bird watchers who visit us intermittently.

Nest taken from a distance shows the increased number of stitches.

“Today we were surprised to note that more work had been done recently and the nest was stitched tighter. I took a quick look in and there were 3 pale greenish-blue egg speckled with brown. No adults were in immediate attendance at the time. No images were taken to limit any disturbance.

“I am not able to locate any observations on Common Tailorbirds reusing nests (appreciate a link if I have missed this).

“Wells (2007) is the only source that discusses the possibility of Common Tailorbirds reusing nests. Wells states ‘Top-quality territories support up to three broods raised per season, each in a new nest (although occasional records of active nests in dead leaves imply a re-use, on the basis that dry, withered leaves would be hard to curl and stitch).’

“Our observation confirms that nests can be reused.

“An image of the nest, taken from a distance shows the increased number of stitches.

Note: Regarding the comment that ‘active nests in dead leaves imply a re-use’ – in my observations over the years I have occasionally seen leaves used for new nests turn brown because of the damaged sustained in the nesting process.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
30th July 2019

Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment

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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