The female Red Whiskered Bulbul had spent the past 2 weeks incubating her eggs.
Then one day I saw the male bird came back with a small insect in his mouth. I realized that the little chicks must have been hatched.
Because the female still spent most of her time in the nest, everytime the male came back with food, he would stop and call first.
The female would then come out of the nest and let the male feed the chicks.
The female herself would sometimes try to find food in the garden while the male was in the nest, but she never left the nest for more than a few minutes.
I decided to leave them alone until the chicks grew older to take more photos.
But then tragedy struck. After a thunderstorm, I noticed that the nest looked different and empty.
Then I found a cat and a dead chick on the ground. But the parents did not realize what had happened to the chicks. They looked very puzzled when they brought food back and couldn’t find the chicks.
They continued to bring back food for two more days before giving up.
These two birds seem to be a pair of inexperienced parents. I guess the nest wasn’t built very sturdily and it collapsed during the thunderstorm which led to the chicks falling off the tree. The cat, on the other hand, might have got a free meal. In fact, these two birds already lost all of their chicks two years ago (documented in a previous blog).
Talking about tough birds, this pair didn’t waste anytime feeling sorry for themselves. Instead, they started building a new nest in the same tree as soon as they realized that the chicks were not coming back. Hopefully, they have learned from their mistakes and will build a strong nest this time round. .