I am soooooo excited to share that the sunbirds have made a nest in our home!! In our dining room balcony on the potted Moringa Tree, two sunbirds made a delicate nest around the 7th of March when I first noticed it ! I have been watching and photographing the sunbirds nesting. I feel so lucky to be able to see the nest so close and see the developments. When we spotted the nest, it was almost built. The mama bird, whom I call Angel- was just putting a few final touches to the hanging nest. My mother (who wanted to help Angel as it was going to be a new mother) put a few strands of cotton on the balcony railings and Angel surprisingly took them and used them for the inner lining of the nest! For a week Angel disappeared. This is apparently a common pattern for Olive-backed sunbirds and the exact reason this happens is unknown. They probably do it to fool other predators or a cuckoo which may parasite the nest. Angel soon kept coming in and out. One day, she sat inside the nest for long periods of time, and continued to do so for weeks. I looked inside the nest but unfortunately the eggs were too deep inside for me to see. After that Angel kept coming in and out to incubate the nest as you can see here in the picture below: Eventually the father, whom I named Sunny, also started visiting the nest, probably because the eggs had hatched. That was when I think the feeding started. Sunny and Angel continued to come to the nest to feed the chicks. It wasn’t until yesterday when I saw the chick pop its head outside, chirping very loudly and aggressively for food! I thought there was only one chick but after looking through my pictures I realised that there were two!! One of them was the bossy one who always wanted the food first from the parent and sometimes the other one wouldn’t get the meal! As soon as the chicks hear the mama or papa birds, they pop their heads out with their beaks open! I love just waiting and watching with my camera and tripod near the nesting, waiting to get good videos and shots of the parents feeding the chicks. I managed to get shots of Angel in mid air! This is a front view of the nest, which I managed to take from my sister’s balcony. While watching the chicks feeding, I feel so grateful and amazed to be seeing this so close. It’s just jaw-dropping to see how sincere the parents are in bringing food and taking care of their young! I hope this has made you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside and made you say “awww” when you saw the little chicks. I am going to continue documenting the olive-backed sunbirds until the chicks fly away, and will do a little update. There will also be a video in the update combining all the videos I have taken of the sunbirds. Do let me know in the comments what you would like me to name the two chicks!
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PS: A very kind reader, Ms Lakhera pointed out the ethics of photography of bird nesting, that it can be intrusive and disturbing to the nesting birds, so it is important to be extremely careful. Here are the links that she shared:
and from the Cornell Labs Code of Conduct on How to Nestwatch
Here’s my set up from inside the house from behind a glass door as below in the photograph, from where the sunbirds can’t really see or sense me. The pictures are zoomed in. I’m so conscious that the birds are not disturbed in any way.