Monday, 27 April 2009

Olive-backed Sunbird Nesting

This is the nesting season. Once the migrants leave (ie by late March), our local birds go into high gear courting each other, gathering nesting material and having their babies - I seem to see that everywhere - from mynas, to doves, to hornbills and now the Olive-backed Sunbird. Birds in Singapore tend to nest at this time as there is less competition for food from migratory birds, and thus more grub to feed a new brood of twittering, hungry, naked (yeah, they are featherless and blind when born) chicks.

I was pleased to locate the nest of an Olive-backed Sunbird right where I live. Found this brown droplet-of-a-nest at a tree in my carpark on Saturday 25 April 2009, while photographing backyard birds from my window. Its pretty far away - about 30m. I've been monitoring it assiduously in between reading Angels and Demons. This is the female bird - it flew to and fro sporadically from the nest to fetch food for its young. V difficult to photograph as intervals between its arrival can be very long or short, and when it arrives it goes straight into the nest without lingering outside. As such, it is visible from outside its nest for less than 2 seconds before flying off again. Super frustrating. Since I'm practicising my hand held shots, there is no tripod in use here. So aarghs, things are still pretty shaky.

There is no way to photograph any chicks because of my distance and angle of photograph, so its just mummy and very occassionally daddy. And no way to see what is being fed, sigh. Maybe I should set up my digiscope instead. Here, mummy is leaving the nest in a downward drop.

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