Black-naped oriole parental care of 2 chicks at Bishan estate

Shahrul Kamal was tipped off by another photographer that a pair of Black-naped orioles (Oriolus chinensis) were nesting successfully at Bishan Street 22. He was amply rewarded with the beautiful images below. As the nest was quite high up, Shahrul used his ingenuity to take the footages from a small window on level 6, next to the lift lobby. A 900 mm camera lens was used.

9 March 2022, ~ 1pm

Image 1. The parent bird inserting its beak into the throat of a chick. The chick’s eyes are not open yet.
Image 2. The chick opens its mouth wide to receive regurgitated food.
Image 3: Two very young and naked chicks, covered with down feathers on their crowns only, jostle to be fed. Can you identify the food item being pushed into the throat of the chick on the right?
Image 4. Lovey-dovey time as parent broods the chicks to keep them warm and safe from predators. Note the strands of plant material used to secure the cup-nest to the tree branch like a hammock.
Image 5. Position of the small window, adjacent to the lift lobby, that enabled Shahrul Kamal to capture these images.

 

Orioles form permanent bond-pairs and mate for life. The open cup-shaped nest is assembled by the female bird with occasional help from the male which collects nest-building materials like leaves, grass and bark. 2-4 eggs are laid and usually 2 chicks survive to fledgling stage. Both parents are actively involved in raising the chicks.  Food like caterpillars and insects are fed to young chicks, fruits, seeds, and young of other birds/vertebrates are added to the diet as the chicks grow. Orioles usually forage on tree canopies in the vicinity of the nest and seldom descend to the ground to forage.

 

All photographs © Shahrul Kamal.

Texts by Teo Lee Wei.

 

References:

  1. Handbook of the Birds of the World © 1996 vol. 13
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-naped_oriole
  3. Video by Jeremiah Loei showing an adult feeding 3 chicks https://youtu.be/gJSZzGVsgSE

 

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