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.