Hi there I am Choti Chidiya. Yes that is my picture you see there below. Don’t I look pretty ? Well that is what the people in this household say.
I am new to this place. In fact I was looking for a place to build my nest and lay the eggs and this thick foliage of the money plant looked like a perfect place for it. I understand that one of my cousins made a bid to build a nest (just three meters away) but I presume the ovulation did not take place. Yeah we birds too have our problems.
You can see her in the photograph above, the nest is on the left and she is on the right. Well that was two months ago.
From the time I started building my nest, there is this man from the house who has been taking a special interest in my proceedings (lets call him Mr Haddock or Mr H in short)
I found that he has been constantly observing me to see how I am building the nest and what material I am using. He was fascinated by the way I tied the edge of the nest to the vine. We have to be very careful, after all we don’t want the whole thing to just fly away with some strong wind. We even make our nest semi porous, in case water gets in, it has to drain out quickly. Then the bed of the nest has to be almost flat (and not concave) so that all the eggs get equal amount of heat while I sit on the clutch.
While I was building the nest, my partner was always around, keeping me company, helping me in getting the soft twigs, giving me alarm calls when any one came close to the nest. But now a days he is not to be seen. Looks like he too is not perturbed and has left me in the care of Mr H and family. Hope he will turn up once the eggs hatch. (I need a helping hand for feeding)
Finally the day has arrived and I have completed laying my three eggs. It was at the rate of one per day. But I don’t sit on them till all three are laid, otherwise there would be unequal heating resulting in unequal hatching and that is going to cause some unruly behavior in the nest when the kids are out. I could have laid more eggs but giving equal heat and hatching them would have been a problem.
There you can see the three cuties. Don’t you love the colour of them? I mean the colour of the shell? Ahem, Mr H is getting bolder. I know he clicked this when I went out for my morning ablutions. Well we don’t exactly brush our teeth and wash the face in the morning, but once its dawn it is nice to fly out and stretch your legs, I mean wings, and catch some fresh insects and be back within five minutes or so. And daily when I am back I see Mr H with his camera clicking away. I know he means no harm, so I allow him to finish his session.
Today I observed Mrs H with her camera trying to click me in the nest. (how many cameras do they have?) In fact it was she who christened me as Choti Chidiya. I am actually the Red Vented Bulbul.
Usually we build the nest higher. Lucky for them that I build my nest at 5 ft from the ground level. At this height all of them can have a peek whenever they want. There are reasons why we build our nests high. Imagine if mine was at ground level, and when the eggs hatch, the little ones would just step out and start walking around and for the rest of their lives they would be just walking around. So when its at a high level, at the right time we just shove them out and they have to spread their wings to avoid a fall and that’s it . . . . . they just soar away. And from then on they are on their own catching insects and fending for themselves. Life is pretty simple with us.
Ok now I see the Grandpa and Grandma moving around in the garden plucking some leaves here, straightening that plant there. When they come close to my nest they are extra cautious, not to disturb me. After that they settle down in their easy chair.
Oh then there is this extra tall guy (must be Mr H’s son) He too comes and peeks but from a respectful distance. Most of the time I see him dashing in and out of the terrace with a football and shin guard and stockings and what not. Must be a football player.
From my nest I can see them sitting relaxed on the terrace. Mrs H is busy cleaning fish. They all like fish, especially sea food.
Now a days they are strictly avoiding fish. Not that they are turning vegetarian, but just a precautionary measure. With all that oil floating around in the Arabian Sea no one wants to take a chance.
Grandpa is reading something from a small book, looks like the Reader’s Digest. He is explaining to Grandma something about guns and the US. He says that a platoon of US soldiers ambushed a group of Taliban fighters and later when they recovered the ammo they found that the Taliban were using US made artillery !! This sounds interesting. Must have a closer look at that Digest. (with my light weight body, I can hover around any where)
That gun looks funny. But why do they make guns? to kill each other ? for what ? All this is very depressing. Like I said, life is pretty simple with us, till they started writing poetry like “Who killed cock Robin” .. . . . . . . . “I said the sparrow, with my bow and arrow” Sigh. . . ..the ideas they come up with…. introducing violence among the birds too.
Oh that reminds me I have to keep turning the eggs from time to time. Don’t want the chicks to stick on the shell, and turning gives heat on all sides of the egg.
This is a good neighbourhood. Calm and peaceful with lots of trees (which means lots of insects) Had a quick aerial survey yesterday. Some school kids were singing the national anthem, after hoisting a colourful flag. They all looked so happy.
Heard some one mention something about Independence day……. a free country. It must be nice to live in a free country. Do you know there are some countries where we were banned. Yes the Red Vented Bulbul were exterminated in Auckland . . . . . but more on that later
Right now I have to get back to the nest and keep a watch out for that Pied Crested Cuckoo. Some times they act smart and lay their eggs in our nest. What is commonly termed as brood parasite.
Well, as Mr H has clicked a lot of pics here is one more of mine ..... this is to hold your attention till I am back with the continuation, when the eggs are hatched.