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Red-vented Bulbul's Nesting Cycle 

 

  • Introduction:

"Birds are a miracle because they show us that there is a finer, simpler state of being that we can strive for"

And the red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) demonstrated this reality by nesting inside our house. She used to observe each of us, attaining an understanding of our lifestyles, and then trust us as she was concerned about predators such as cats in the neighbourhood posing a threat to her nest. 

In the beginning, she was just roaming around the house looking for a safer place, and then she found a place close to a slab of a ventilated open laundry room and began building a nest between two large ropes that are used to hang wet clothes for secondary drying.

By then, she had a well-balanced relationship with each of us and would never be afraid of us being around her nest, which amazed me because Pycnonotus cafer species are actually more aggressive and invasive, but the mother's compassion made her friendly and soft with us. 

  • Tracking Timeline:  30th April 2021 to 27th May 2021

  • Location: Lasalgaon, Nashik, Maharashtra, India.

Nest Building Duration: 30th April 2021 to 4th May 2021

There are still many things we don't know about birds and their lifestyle, but everything I've seen so far has been really inspiring, right from building a nest without any kind of engineering science knowledge, and even that Nest is so strong against strong gusty winds and can easily handle the weight of upcoming chicks.

She was well aware of the impending Category 4 "Cyclone Tauktae" that was expected to affect the Nashik District Region as well as the Western Coast of Maharashtra just before the cyclone was about to arrive after 3 days, so she was in a rush to gather the dry grass and weed straws and build it within 4 days!

And her perfectionism is what we can see in the above photographs, which is unexpected since it's clearly motivating how work can be managed in such a way that it results in perfection in every manner in such a short period of time.

 

  • Egg-laying & Incubation Duration: 6th May 2021 to 18th May 2021 (2-week Incubation)

And on the 6th of May, Bulbul laid 3 eggs as they usually lay 2-3 eggs, and started incubating the eggs for successful hatching.


 


 

She used to go outside two to three times a day to look for food. And it was customary for them to sit in the nest indefinitely. We also chose not to go near the nest since she would panic, even though she did not panic while we were nearby her nest.

And finally, on the morning of 18th May, we all saw two eggs were hatched and sweet baby bulbul sleeping calmly while their mother went outside in search of food.

  • Feeding & Growth Tracking Duration: 18th May 2021 to 27th May 2021 (10 days)

  • 18 May 2021


 

The May 18 picture vividly illustrates how a newborn bulbul looks, and their ears, as well as the feather's skin smooth edge and tail bone, can be identified.

 

  • 19 May 2021 


 

The May 19 image shows the imprinting line of the fur and feathers and how they will grow, as well as their baseline. And the infant bulbul has grown a little more than the day before.

 

  • 20 May 2021


 

The May 20 photograph depicts a shift in the size of the infant bulbul, as the feather line darkens and a little feather spike begins to form on the surface. On their beak, the nostrils may be seen.

 

  • 22 May 2021


 

By omitting one day, the May 22 image shocks this massive transition, and they are expanding at a faster rate. The feather structure can be distinctly seen, and the third egg did not hatch but instead dropped down the nest.

 

  • 23 May 2021


 

The photograph from May 23 shows the bird's ear, nostrils, and feather structure. The feather has expanded, and because both of the infants are much larger than before, their mother sits on the edge of the nest all night, releasing her warmth and affection for her offspring.

  • Bulbul feeding her infants: 

Video Link: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hUXCXUoDWBFISZAkP76FC7fyAkk7fN08/view?usp=drivesdk 


 

She feeds the babies with flower buds in the shape of red balls, as well as insects, flower nectar, and fruits. They are generally protein-rich, and she ensures that they are.

  • 24 May 2021


 


 

Finally, on May 24, the infants opened their eyes, silently, just watching what was going on around them. And one of the babies erroneously pretended the iPhone's camera lens as if their mother had come to feed them, resulting in this remarkable photograph!

 

  • 26 May 2021


 

And yay!

They are clothed in fur and feathers as they develop into chicks, and May 26 marks the first impulse for the chicks to take their first flight!

 

  • 27 May 2021

"Day of First Flight"


 


 

While both were eager to leave the nest, one of them took his maiden flight and stepped outside the nest during the evening, astounded everyone, and every bird of different species began chirping in glee, gathering around the chick and protecting it from cats. I got to see a great wonderful jumble of birds.

During this time, I noticed that Bulbuls and Mynas share a special bond; Mynas constantly safeguarded the nest from Cats and helped Bulbul throughout her nesting cycle. This is incredible because despite being from different species, they have a relationship of goodwill.


 

The little chick sitting on the iron pole and wondering the external new world!

And the second one was still in the nest, perplexed by his sibling's absence, but he had to leave the nest as soon as possible after the first chick attended his first flight.


 

  • 28 May 2021


 

The second chick took his first flight on May 28th, while sitting on the gate's grill and checking up on Sun! Later, he took a flight on the Mango Tree. 
And thus the 28-day nesting cycle of the Red-vented Bulbul comes to an end, chirping cheerfully and celebrating this magnificent day of accomplishment.

Although we will miss them and their chirps inside our house, we are glad that they have grown up securely and are living a great life, and we look forward to seeing them again next year! 

Here's the link for the documentary of Bulbul's Nesting Cycle:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wdCt3-z6gR1X1_g8_yL4NtXG8ptgfgEq/view?usp=drivesdk

 

This is a very cool series! Thanks for sharing.

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Thank You!

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