Friday 6 April 2012

From the Window

The Straw-headed Bulbuls have multiplied!

For about a week I saw 3 adults visit the fruiting tree next to my window almost daily. All of a sudden there were 4 birds on Friday. I didn't take much notice to that fact and assumed that there may have been 4 all along. But a closer look revealed that there was a recently fledged bird.

The birds must have been nesting nearby, and Friday may have been this birds first day away from the nest!

It's easy to know when the Bulbuls arrive because one of the adults sings very loudly, after which the other birds come streaming out of the forest to come feed. Presumably the singing bird is a male, who may be announcing that it is safe to come feed? While the birds feed they have a very distinctive gurgling call. My field guide doesn't say anything about that call, perhaps it has something to do with feeding?

It seems that only one adult does the job of feeding. I'll try to keep track of which one (i.e. is it the singing bird?)

My field guide tells me that the bulbuls lay 2 eggs at a time, so perhaps I can expect another juvenile to arrive soon? And maybe there's even another adult who stays at home to take care of the other juvenile? Who knows...

If the birds are there, and I'm here in my room, I'll know that they're there. Every time I have seen the birds from my window I have submitted the sighting to eBird. Thankfully so, since I've noticed an interesting pattern. The birds arrive 3 times daily (or so it seems):
In the morning they usually hang around the area between 8 and 10 am.
In the afternoon they return at around 1:30-2:30 pm
And in the evenings they arrive almost precisely between 6:10 and 6:15 am.

I'll no doubt be keeping track of the times to see if they remain consistent or relate to weather conditions.

I should also keep a tally of how many fruits the juvenile eats. It should be easy to keep track of because the adult feeds it one at a time. I would estimate between 3-4 fruits per visit to the tree (actually there are a few fruiting trees that they feed from).

The adult does a pretty good job of stuffing the food down the throat:

Eventually the juvenile has had its fill and flies away, giving the adult a chance to eat as well.

As you can see in the last picture there's plenty of food to ripen still. So I can expect that these birds will continue to be daily visitors over the next month!

*No photos in this posting were digiscoped.

I've also started to notice a daily flight of White-bellied Sea Eagles flying over my building between 7 and 7:20 pm - it usually involves up to 6 birds but with my limited view I rarely see them all unless I'm birding in the field nearby (that's how I know/think that there are 6 daily commuters). I'm going to try to keep track of it on eBird and see if any patterns emerge (i.e. is the timing consistent, related to weather?, do numbers change day by day? - although the last one will be difficult to gauge)...