Monday, June 9, 2014

The Bulbul and Mrs Koel

This is not the first time that the Red Vented Bulbul is making a nest on our terrace, but this time I got to see one of the natural habits of these avian species.

As usual the pair came scouting for a place to build the nest and within two days they decided on the location.  The work started in full earnest. The basic frame work was made and they never fail to get some sort of a thread to tie the nest to the base. (this time it was some white plastic thread)

As the days progressed, the nest took a firm shape with both the male and the female ones taking turns in getting the material for the nest.

When one came in, the other would leave for more twigs.

The items they got were just right for a nest. Dried flowers, cotton, broken broom sticks.

Once some unwanted material came along (I think it must have been chewing gum) and the Bulbul got rid of it, preened itself nicely on the fence and only then entered the nest.

Life was happy in the neighbourhood with the Robins hoping about and the Magpie looking for worms

Meanwhile danger loomed close by in the form of a Male Koel who was observing everything from a nearby tree.

The Koel must have informed Mrs Koel, as I found her lurking around well hidden in the foliage.

My observation was that she was hanging around more than Mr Koel. I suppose his work was to go scouting around for nests so that his female counterpart could lay her egg in those nests.
The only problem was that Mrs Koel had no idea if the Bulbul had already laid her eggs as the nest looked complete now.

So when the coast was clear, she made a dash for the nest and peeped inside. Even though my camera was on I could not capture that action.  Or rather I was awestruck by what this huge bird was trying to do and totally forgot to point the camera in the right direction.  All I got in my frame was her swooping down.

I don’t know if the Bulbul pair was aware of this action that took place as I saw them later giving their final touch to shape up the nest.

The next day, while I was working at my desktop I heard a big commotion outside. I could usually place a bird by its call, but this was a cacophony of many birds. I rushed out and found that a magpie, a mynah, two robins and two bulbuls were trying to attack something. The target was out of my sight (hidden by the foliage) but I guessed who it could be.

I got my camera and tried to capture the action. Mrs Koel was the target and probably she was a common enemy for all these birds.
Mrs Koel was outnumbered and knew that.  She went into the “broken wing” act, something that birds do, either to divert attention or for sympathy.  

From here she flew onto the swing with the bulbuls in close pursuit.

The bulbuls were not ready to give up and wanted her out of their territory. They made swooping sorties on her. Mrs Koel saw an opening in between these sorties and flew away.

I read some interesting facts about the female Koel on the net. One that caught my attention was written about seven decades ago by one Mr Krishna Raju on “Intelligence of a pair of Koels

In fact that typewritten archive has a lot of info for bird lovers (click here to see)

Coming back to our Bulbul pair, the nest is ready, but will they come back to lay their eggs?  What do you say? I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Have made a 12 minute video on the complete action (or rather all that I could capture) All bird calls heard in this video is the ambient natural sound.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

How beautiful hat they're making a home there again and that this time you were able to witness the construction :)

joeh said...

Lot's going on if you pay attention. Like an avian soap opera.

Joanne Noragon said...

I like the interaction between all the species. The wrens have taken over all five birdhouses in my yard.

TexWisGirl said...

the bird are all very exotic to me. :)

Augustine Xavier said...

Dear Joe, after reading this post, this poem 'Leisure-by Davies' came flashing to my mind....
'What is life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and
Thanks for bringing us back in touch with the beauty of nature. Amazing post. Can't wait to encounter the new star that will come from this nest. Cheers!

Daisy said...

Great post, Joe. I don't see any of these types of birds here, so I enjoyed seeing your photos.

Paula said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoyed your video very much. Nothing like the antics of birds.

Felicia said...

Wow and you have a front row seat. nice series of photos.

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful Joe ! In the humdrum of daily life we miss out so much of Gods divine powers and grace surrounding us.
And by the way the background music was divine !!!
Thank you so very much for sharing - Vijayalakshmi Menon

padmaja said...

Remarkably well caught story, so very interesting, thanks for sharing!

shivani said...

Lucky you Haddock...the last time ie last week i attempted this and my Red Vented Bulbul have shifted to another place. They probably felt threatened when all i was trying to do was this. But so what i couldn't do dod it much much better and so clear than i could have with my beginner's skills. Great to see the Dhyal there too that Magpie, Cuckoo...great shots...lovely vdo. That Intelligence of pair of Koels was taking longer than usual to load so will come back again to ur post to read. Btw do u too hear the Magpie sing at the crack of dawn...i just love it...have made a vdo...done two blogs too. Don't know if u have seen or heard those of mine but pls do. Maybe u'll like it. We r blessed Haddock like Mr Augustine Xavier has quoted the famous poem by William Henry Davies we have all the time to stand and stare. Cheers to that.
Watch out for my few posts which shall feature birds my garden...on my terrace and here there...
Loved this one of urs and thanx a ton for all that u have shared...and the effort taken to bring it all alive for all of us to enjoy...even those who don't have the time to stand and stare. :) :) :)

shivani said...

i was in a hurry to say it pls omit the typos. Read Did for Dod

Bikram said...

WOW.. and you took so many pics and described so very well .. Loved the video toooo

I find Mrs. Koel Wrong...

Cynthia said...

Very interesting post. I've never seen either of the main characters before, although we have a bird that similarly lays eggs in another bird's nest -- the cowbird. Often she will lay an egg in a tiny sparrow's nest, and the resulting HUGE baby will follow its tiny foster mother around the garden, yelling for food.

Anilkumar Kurup said...

The drama in Nature is more than in the dramatics of the Humankind . .

Sandhya said...

Loved the pictures, narration and the video! The same birds nested thrice in our garden. I had posted pictures of them too but yours are very clear.

Now, I feel they are family!

Nisha said...

This was one of the most brilliant pieces I've read. What a narration! Thankyou for the pictures. Great job!

Joy said...

It was really amazing to see how these creatures works:)
Thanks for sharing;)

Mrinal Bose said...

Great pics and narrative. Count me a fan.

Z @ Kicking Kilos said...

Wow...unbelievable. awesome clicks.

Anonymous said...

Too good !
Keep sharing such stuff
UG Kulkarni

Wendy said...

What a special place you have! Surrounded by nature at its best ... and not a human in sight! Can't get much better than that :)

Rama Ananth said...

Lovely pictures along with the Ankoh Dekha Hal/ Commentary.
Hope they are safe and fine.

CelestinaMarie@SouthernDayDreams said...

This is perfection. You caught awesome shots with your camera.
Thank you for the blog visit and your kind comment.
Happy Momday!

Trupti Sharma said...

Lovely pictures and description...I remembered the hindi song..yeh tera ghar yeh mera ghar while seeing the wonderful clicks..:)

Sharon Wagner said...

Mrs Koel is bespeckled and stunning!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I'm not familiar with these birds. You got marvelous shots of them!

Weekend-Windup said...

It is nice to see the completed nest. They build it beautifully than humans. Looks nice!

Anonymous said...

Vivid capture, Thanks for your sharing. Have a joyful day. ♥♥ ~ Maggie ~ ♥♥

PAPS said...

Well what an interesting bird story. I am not a bird expert but once did a blog on birds I saw on Safari.

Stephanie Faris said...

The whole process of watching them build a nest is fascinating. Capturing all of this had to be very hard work!

The Armchair Squid said...

Amazing work! You must have a great camera and lots of patience to get such stunning shots of such wonderful birds.

Unknown said...

Hey Jo chayan. enjoyed reading thru. looking fwd for this to be continued.....

Gauri Kulkarni said...

This is beautiful... So well written ( drama ), and so beautifully captured... Loved every bit of it... I have pigeons and mynahs making nests in balcony tops and bathroom windows of my home these days :)
Lovely shots...Mrs Koel looks stunning :)

Locomente said...

Hey! I ahve nominated for The Liebster Award.... Please follow this link:

And keep the good work going!!!

Indrani said...

I wish a bulbul visits my garden too. I have only pigeons laying eggs. :(