Red-Whiskered Bulbul

Posted by Amit Shah on May 12, 2013

A few weeks back, a strange bird call started waking me up.  Though red-whiskered bulbuls are supposed to be pretty common, I'd not heard them or seen one up close.

red-whiskered-bulbul

There were two of them making rounds throughout the day, and they used to visit one plant in my terrace-garden frequently.  I took that as a sign that they're building a nest, and ensured they don't get disturbed when the visited.  I tried taking a few pictures, but couldn't manage good ones: these birds are very shy, and any they're very alert to any movement or human presence.  There's a better photo at wikipedia.

Exactly one week after they started arriving, they had built a nest and they didn't make as much noise as earlier.  That made me curious.  I checked out their nest, and was quite delighted to see an egg:

[caption id="attachment_544" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Red whiskered bulbul's nest with egg Red whiskered bulbul's nest with egg[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_545" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Red whiskered bulbul's nest with egg -- camera flash on. Red whiskered bulbul's nest with egg -- camera flash on.[/caption]

The next day I woke up to a lot of mayhem, lots of bird noises near the plant.  I didn't feel like disturbing anything there.  When the commotion died down, I went to check, and saw the egg was missing.  That was a sad end to the week-long activity around the nest.  I initially suspected pigeons, permanent residents in the terrace, to have caused the damage.  However, later in the day, a big crow came by near the same plant (crows have never come inside the terrace earlier).  Wonder what this all means, and where the egg vanished.