Yellow-Vented Bulbul Hatchling (A 16-Day Chronicle Of Growth)

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Yellow-Vented Bulbuls Are Common Birds In My Location

The yellow-vented bulbul birds are very common garden birds in Southeast Asian countries. They are right in front of my garden every day. And every year, they never fail to build their nest in my garden. I have written an interesting article on my adventurous episode with one of their nestlings. You can go to the link at the end of this article to read it. Now, this present article is about yet another interesting and absolutely close encounter with a yellow-vented bulbul hatchling.

Usually, the yellow-vented bulbuls would build their nest on the railings in front of my garden patio. But this time, they chose to build their nest in my potted plants right in front of my doorstep. These birds are not shy of humans, although you can’t get too close to them. They would fly off if you get too close. But they don’t mind you watching them from a close distance.

Their constant flying in and out of my potted plants gave clues that they must be building their nest inside. And on close supervision, sure enough, they were building their nest literally right in front of my eyes.

The yellow-vented bulbuls build simple nests about 4 inches (10cm) in diameter. They usually lay between two and four eggs during the period from February to June. But for this time, there was only one solitary egg!

The Adventure Begins

Smartphone technology has advanced so great that I could capture the progress of the hatchling on close-ups with sharp images! I just used an average priced Samsung smartphone to produce these photos featured here. This is simply amazing! I shot the pictures really close within inches of the hatchling. As the nest was built low, about my chest height, I could have unrestricted view by just parting the leaves with my fingers and took the pictures with only one hand holding the smartphone! I doubt I could do that with the very expensive standard SLR camera. Simply unbelievable!

The first photo below shows a general view of my potted plants next to my front door. The nest was built in the middle potted plant near the top part.

The Three Potted Plants Beside My Front Door

The nest was built inside the middle pot, near the top part. (The bird in the cage is just a plastic ornament, not a real bird.)
The nest was built inside the middle pot, near the top part. (The bird in the cage is just a plastic ornament, not a real bird.) | Source

The Hidden Nest

The second photo below takes a closer look at the middle potted plant. There is a white raffia string hanging loosely vertically down at the middle part of the photo. That is part of the loose ends of the nest hidden inside.

The Hidden Nest

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The Parent Bird

I don't possess a high-end camera, so I can't take close shots from a far distance, The photo below was taken with the same averaged-priced Samsung smartphone. You can see the parent bird at the center of the photo. If you look carefully, it was pecking at the banana which I hung on the metal bar.

The Parent Bird

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The Little Solitary Egg

The photo below was taken on February 16, 2015. By the way, all the photos were taken when the parent birds were away. So I did not disturb or scare the parents. I checked the nest everyday to see whether the mother bird had laid its eggs. So on this day, I saw the solitary egg in the nest. It was most unusual that it laid only one egg!

A Little Solitary Egg

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First Day of Life

The solitary egg musty have hatched on the day or night before I took this photo below, which means it was born on 19 February, 2015 which corresponded to the Chinese lunar new year day. What an auspicious day to be born in front of the house belonging to a Chinese! Well I hope it also brings good luck and happiness to the owners of this beautiful bungalow.

I took this photo below on the early morning of 20th February. It was a fascinating little thingie without any feather, only dark skin covering the fragile frame.

Hatchling on Day 2 (Feb 20. 2015)

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Day Five Amazing

I did not disturb the hatchling for the next two days. Then on day five I too this photo below. It's amazing! Only five days old, and you can see the quills protruding from the wings! The little one was still too fragile to use its legs. The proportionately big head was quite fully formed by then. The body was only covered with bare skin.

Hatchling Day 5 (Feb 23)

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Day 7 Getting Stronger

The photo below was taken on day 7, on 25 February. You can see the little feathers around the neck that was strong enough to lift the head high for feeding.

Hatchling Day 7 (25 Feb)

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Day Eight, Getting Bigger

Day eight on 26 February, 2015, I took these three photos below. The head had fully formed with eyes wide open. The wings had all the quills fully extended minus the feathers. Little fury feathers started to appear around the head and the back.

Day Eight (26 February)

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Day Nine, Filling The Whole Nest

Lucky bird, this hatchling. Got the whole nest for itself, and all the food too! No wonder it grew so fast and large too. From the photo below, you can see little feathers started to protrude from the quills.

Day Nine (27 February)

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Day Ten Growing Fast

Day ten photo below shows a contented solitary nestling waiting to fly off in a few days' time. The feathers were growing fast to cover almost the whole body.

Day Ten (28 February)

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The Final Days

I took the photos below on days 11 and 12. The nestling had full feathers covering its body. I suppose the both its wings were then well-formed ready to take their first flight. Noticing that the nestling is more aware of my presence, I tried not to intrude its privacy further.

Day Eleven And Day Twelve (1 & 2 March 2015)

Day Eleven
Day Eleven | Source
Day Twelve
Day Twelve | Source

A Surprise On Day Thirteen

On the morning of day thirteen, 3 March 2015, I had a surprise. I got my Samsung smartphone ready for another shot of the growing nestling. On parting the leaves, I saw only an empty nest. That was quick. In a spate of only 12 days, a tiny blob of flesh had developed into a full-fledged little bird. I was taken by surprise of this sudden disappearance. It was only my logical assumption that the little bird had taken full flight to freedom. I did not actually see the nestling flying off. Come to think of it, could it be something more sinister or even macabre? After all it was the thirteenth day!!


Copyright © Justin Choo. All Rights Reserved.

Day Thirteen ( 3 March 2015 ) No More Nestling!

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Yellow-Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus Goiavier)

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Link To My Other Interesting And Beneficial Articles

As promised earlier, here is the link to my other article about how I saved a nestling:

"How To Save A Fallen Nestling"

If you find this article interesting or beneficial, you may go to my "Profile" page to read my other articles by simply CLICKHERE:

By the way, the copyright to this article is owned by Justin Choo (a.k.a. Good Guy). Please do not “copy and paste”! Thank you.

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Comments 7 comments

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 20 months ago from Dallas, Texas

This fascinating chronicle of the baby bird's development was interesting and beautifully documented with your photos. Wow, that little mouth is not hard to find with its bright red interior. Such a sweet story.


Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 20 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

I hope and trust that the parent birds taught the little one to fly. Once they have learned then the nest is no longer necessary as they quickly teach the little ones to feed themselves. Maybe they flock together as a group somewhere? We get barn swallows and as soon as the little ones can fly they all hang out together on the telephone lines to our farm, up to 100 or more all keeping together for safety until they finally migrate when the smallest birds are large enough. I hope these birds are the same.


Good Guy profile image

Good Guy 20 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi pegcole17 thanks for the compliment. Hope the nestling is safe n sound.


Good Guy profile image

Good Guy 20 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Stephen, yes I was expecting to see that, the little bird next to its parents on my garden wall. But didn't see them. That was why I ended with a cautioned note. Thanks for sharing


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 17 months ago from Stillwater, OK

A beautiful bird, Justin. Seems like you had a wonderful time with this little project. Young birds grow quickly, almost before one's eyes. Happy future birding!


Good Guy profile image

Good Guy 17 months ago from Malaysia Author

Hi Deb,

Thanks for visiting and the encouragement. Actually I am not the avid bird watcher, but just circumstantial observer. My sister is the expert bird watcher. It was she who told me the name of the bird.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 17 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Have your sister contact me, so we can both learn more about each other's birds, if she is interested. http://debhirt.blogspot.com

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