Friday, March 16, 2012

My BIRD story....

It was a few days before Chinese New Year when I saw a string of rubbish and caked mud stuck on my balcony light. I had just spring-cleaned the house (for Chinese New Year). When I saw the rubbish, hanging on the lamp it irked me. Without second thoughts, I reached out (to the light) and pulled the line of rubbish, down.  A couple of days later, when I peeked out of my room window, I saw another line of rubbish hung below the lamp. It looked quite similar to the one I had discarded.  Puzzled, I stood there quite a while and tried to figure out how that string of rubbish got back to where it was.
The string of rubbish
I decided to leave the rubbish hanging on the lamp.  A few days later, I looked out the window and noticed that the line of rubbish had 'grown' longer.  Then, I heard birds chirping and it sounded quite near to where I stood.  Out of curiosity, I opened the balcony door and in the midst, I saw a bird then another (must have perched itself on my window ledge) flew away.  Then it struck me, the string of rubbish...could the birds be building a nest.
Bird (circled) taking flight
In just a short while, one of the birds came back.  Goodness gracious, I had removed what I thought was rubbish.  I was such a wicked woman. Hurriedly, I went and grabbed the camera and decided to draw the curtains (inside the room) to make myself invisible to the birds. I had to take pictures of the nest building. It is not every day that one could witness such an interesting act. I had to peek out of the drawn curtains to take a shot. I managed to catch a shot of the bird...about to fly away when the curtain moved.  Next, I had to think of ways to take more shots without frightening the birds lest they decide to 'abandon their mission'.
I spent the next few days waiting patiently (must admit sometimes impatiently) for the birds to build add leaves, strings, tissues to the line of 'rubbish'.  Just in case anyone is wondering, I did not sit there the whole day.  I did it only for about an hour or so as I have other matters to.  However, I do wish that I could sit there the whole day and watch the birds. It was interesting watching them.  The bird looked beautiful. If only...I could.  The bird flying away and coming back with strings, cotton wool, leaves...the sight and feeling I felt within, it was awesome. (I have never witnessed such a thing first hand.)
Bird adding more things to the string
Sometimes a dead leaf will drop off from the line and the bird will pick it up put it back on the line. I could not help noticing that there is something stuck (a blob) on the side of the lamp.  The bird will peck from that blob and then ‘stick’ the item (leaf, cotton wool, etc.) to the line of ‘rubbish’.   From the few days that I sat there watching, it made me realised that it was not an easy job – to build a nest.  Being small (I think), they could carry just one item at a time.  A pity that I could not capture the act on camera.
Bird (circled) & Nest (in square)
Notice the line..the different items added
Arrow pointing to the lump of coconut husk
The last I saw of the nest was a small lump of coconut husk added.  I think it was from the lot of coconut husks I had placed in my backyard to dry in the sun.  That was the last time I saw the 'line of rubbish'.  The nest was not completed.  What had happened was I forgot to inform H about the birds and their activities out on the balcony.  One fine night, H decided to switch on the light (I did not noticed) and left it night.  I opened the door to the balcony...Oh no!  The whole string of rubbish was all over on the balcony floor.  The explanation both of us could arrive at was the light became hot and the rubbish just dropped off.  It could also be the light was hot and the bird found it unusual. Therefore, it decided to destroy and abandon mission.  I was too distraught to take any pictures and then...later forgot.  I continued to look out of the window hoping they will come back and build the nest.  I thought I was not in luck. Till....
Wonderful...A nest completely built
This time around I heard birds chirping noisily (very unusual) above where I stood.  I was walking towards the corner of my garden where my dog had hung around of late.  I was going to trim my heliconia plant and refill the hole. Then I saw...Wee...oh...a nest!  The birds are still here! No wonder they were chirping so noisily, I was walking towards their nest. I would like to say that they are the same ones as this bunch consisted of three birds.  Normally, it will be a pair of birds though I could not exactly be sure but I think it is so.
dead leaves similar to plants in my garden
The nest is very flimsy.  What the birds did was just 'glue' two leaves of the plant and then placed the 'bedding' inside the leaves. Could it have been built hastily? Whatever it was, mommy bird had laid three eggs and they have since hatched.  Yes, there are three nestlings!
One of the cute nestling
Three hungry nestlings
I could not help myself from worrying about the safety of the nest and nestlings being there.  It is just hanging precariously on the plant.  The leaves could dry up and just drop off.  My dogs could reach the nest.  I have seen a cat walking on the top part of the wall this particular plant leaned.  Oh.... 
Mommy...where are you, we are hungry!
Two birds (circled) waiting
I walked away from the nest when I saw one of them perched on the wire chirping anxiously (I think).  From where I stood, I looked up and saw two more birds chirping.  Yes, they must be a trio.  The two (I guess) must be waiting for mommy bird whilst she feed her 'babies'.
Black beauty
Standing on the wall, I zoomed and took two pictures.  I noticed that the nestlings have grown.  It has been four days since my happy 'discovery'. This will be my last picture (of them) in the nest. I dared not get any closer to the nest.  A friend told me that if the birds feel threatened, they would abandon their babies.  No, I do not want that to happen.  From now on, I will watch from my balcony until...the nestlings fly out from the nest.
Looking so peaceful
I could not help worrying about the safety of the nest and nestlings being there.  Hanging on that plant put it in a precarious location. The leaves could dry up and just drop off.  My dogs could reach the nest.  I have seen a cat walking on the top part of the wall this particular plant leaned.  Oh....  
arrow pointing to wire mesh
I had a job to do. That is to prevent my dogs (especially Miss Mischievous) from reaching the nest.  I placed wire mesh   around the corner and over the hole.  A hole I thought my dog was run away from home. LOL. For now, I will observe the nest from the balcony and pray...That, the nestlings will be safe until they are ready to fly away. :o)
**Story continues...Click


Nath said...

how kind of you :D said...

Ermm...kind as in I removed the 'rubbish' n made the bird work more to rebuild the nest or...'keeping watch' over them now. I take it as both. Guilt & joy. LOL.