A Bulbul’s Life Goes On

This is a story about 2 bulbuls and their nest.

On 5th August 2015, we spotted a nest below our balcony! It was the first time we had ever seen a nest here πŸ™‚ We went down to take a look and found 2 little hatchlings in the cup-shaped nest!!!


It turned out that it was a yellow-vented bulbul nest. We were so excited to see the parents feeding the chicks!


The chicks popped their heads out and begged for food whenever a parent landed on the nest :3 Although we can’t tell the mother and father apart since they look alike, we know both of them take turns feeding because when one is feeding, the other would be nearby in a tree watching over.


We could tell that it took a lot of effort for the parents because we kept seeing them coming back with food in their beaks to feed the ever-hungry chicks! It seems like their lives are centred on feeding and taking care of the chicks πŸ˜›


Look at their pin feathers and red mouths!


When the parent bulbuls were off looking for food, the baby bulbuls would flop down and go back to sleep.


We could always see the parents looking alert :3


Recently it began to rain a lot. The poor bulbuls’ nest wasn’t covered very well and they had to endure the downpour. We were really worried about them 😦 When we peeked out in the rain, we noticed the mouth of the nest covered by what looked like a leaf. On closer inspection, it was a parent bulbul! The bulbul actually fluffed out its wings to covered the nest and shelter the babies! Aww!


After the rain we felt so sorry for them that we left some banana pieces on nearby plants for them to eat. And they actually ate the bananas! πŸ™‚


Operation Bulnana

But then disaster struck. On day 4 we found the nest almost tipped over and one baby bulbul was dangling from its nest!


It was holding on with one foot and looked like it was about to fall off.


We quickly used a leaf to nudge the chick back into the nest and put the nest back upright, taking care not to disturb the environment too much for fear that the parent would notice and abandon the nest. Sadly, the other chick was nowhere to be found. It looked like the nest had been raided by a squirrel or bird predator 😦 At least the bulbuls came back to feed their remaining chick.


We had hoped for the best,Β but it wasn’t to be. The next day the nest was missing. We found it on the floor, empty. After putting it back we searched for the chick but there was no trace of it. It had probably been preyed on.

A bulbul perched on a nearby tree, chirping and looking around as if searching for its missing chick, but to no avail.


Now the bulbuls have left the nest. Apparently bulbuls have a 60% mortality rate, but that’s scarce comfort and we still feel depressed even now. 😦 Although it’s tragic how these bulbuls were so unlucky, we suppose that’s how it works in the wild. Hopefully the bulbuls will return to nest somewhere near again. In the meantime, we have not noticed the adult bulbuls near the nest anymore, so we assume they have moved on and are back to their everyday lives.

For the birds, life goes on.

28 thoughts on “A Bulbul’s Life Goes On

    1. 60% doesn’t sound as bad on paper as it does when you actually watch the bulbuls firsthand… sigh 😦 That’s probably why bulbuls breed 3 times a year!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So sad. I’m sorry. It’s hard with nature. It has to keep its balance, but I tend to get personally attached to individuals or individual families/nests. I grieve the losses, and am ecstatic when they make it. Seems like each year different ones thrive. It’s hard to be faced with the realities of death and dying played before me on a daily basis. Beautiful pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sad 😦 I used to care for wild baby birds with a group in TX. It was always so disappointing to see how many die even though it is nature’s way. Your photos and story were absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing.


  3. Devastating story. Your pics are amazing. A story well told and…impacting. I’m grateful you stopped by my site so that I could see your post.

    Oh my word – you’re TEENAGERS? What an amazing blog!


  4. I just came across your blog after trying to take my grief online today, mourning for the loss and death of 2 baby Bulbuls that had hatched in the nest just outside my front porch. A neighbor’s cat was always attempting to prey at them but failed to after I lighted candles and placed obstacles every night to ward it off..But alas, my efforts were in vain this morning when the cat successfully attacked the nest while I was still asleep. I felt so so heartbroken, upset, cried so much and near inconsolable when I woke up to that fallen nest sight. I hate that cat so much and it is still trying to sneak into my porch to go up that nest that was built! Felt so bad for the parents that kept coming back for its babies, confused and not aware what had happened – realising only probably now in the night that their babies are gone. I hope these poor birds will never return to hatch or nest here again, especially not with that cat around!


    1. Oh dear- I can feel your pain! It’s the absolute worst feeling seeing the baby bulbuls you’ve watched grow up suddenly disappear. I still remember how stressed we were when we saw the upturned nest the next morning. Our bulbuls sadly haven’t nested in the same spot again, but we do still see plenty of bulbul pairs around. So sorry to hear about your birds though – it does feel almost like you’ve lost your own baby chicks 😦 I hope they’ll find a safer spot to nest near you again!


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