Monday, February 13, 2012

A Tragic Ending

Final update on the nest of the Yellow-vented Bulbul in my garden:
The day after I posted the update on the nestlings, I noticed one of them perched on the edge of the nest. It stood like that for the entire morning and was still in that position at about 2pm when I needed to go out for a while.

Baby bird standing on the edge facing the nest
When I came home around 4 pm, I decided to fill up the fish pond with some water as the weather has been extremely hot and the water level was rather low. As I was standing near the fish pond I noticed that papa and mama bird were flying around keeping their eyes on me. Then I noticed a little figure on the ground and was surprised to see the little baby bird standing there looking very frightened and lost. I thought that mama bird's flying lessons had begun and her little baby had jumped off the nest and tried to fly but ended up on the ground instead. But mama bird was keeping her distance, so I picked up the little fella and decided to pop it back into the nest before the neighbourhood cat came along.

A quick snapshot before baby birdie goes back into the nest
I yelled for my son to bring the stepladder as the nest was rather high up and  carefully lifted the baby bird up into its nest...but it stuck its bony legs apart and refused to go in! I was getting nervous because mama bird was around and she would surely peck at me if she thought that I was trying to take her baby. So I left it standing on the edge of the nest once more and quickly went back into the house. The baby bird just stood there and was very still for hours after that, and the parents just hopped on the nearby plants calling out rather loudly but did not fly up to the nest...I thought that the other baby bird had already flown away and the parents were trying to coax this one to fly away with them too. 

Before I went to bed I took a peep at the baby bird and it was still standing on the edge of the nest refusing to go in even though the night was getting cold...which was rather strange behaviour...but there was nothing I could do about it.

The next morning the baby bird was still there perched on the edge, but this time it hopped about a bit whenever the mama bird came near and called out to it. I thought that the time had finally arrived for this little bird to fly away, so I decided to keep my distance and not scare the mama bird away with my presence.

After a few hours there was silence and when I looked out of my window I couldn't see the little baby bird any more...but to my horror I saw it lying on the ground...dead! Oh no! I rushed out to take a closer look, then with a heavy heart I had to remove the carcass as ants were coming towards it from all directions. 
Poor baby :(
Then I decided to find out whether the nest was empty, and when I climbed up to take a look this is what I saw...
 No!!! The other baby bird was already dead!
My guess is that one of the baby birds died in the nest (maybe both of them had a fight, or maybe mama bird was careless when she settled into the nest at night and accidentally crushed it...I really don't know) and the other baby bird decided not to be in the nest with a carcass...but it couldn't fly it probably fell off the nest the first time. Then I picked it up and placed it back, and it fell a second time...injuring itself fatally. 

I felt so sad for the mama bird when she came later bringing food in her beak for her babies...and she couldn't find them...

I couldn't bring myself to remove the carcass from the nest and hubby had to use tongs because the nest is quite deep.

What a tragic ending to a story that started off with so much joy and anticipation....


YuinTing said...

Oh I am sad to hear the news too. I can imagine how sad the mama and papa birds are...

Sunny-Cookie said...

Hopefully they will be back next year. My husband says he saw a different species of birds flying into our garden after the Bulbuls left, so hopefully there will be more 'bird stories' to tell soon!