Red-Whiskered Bulbul

A few weeks back, a strange bird call started waking me up.  Though red-whiskered bulbuls are supposed to be pretty common, I’d not heard them or seen one up close.


There were two of them making rounds throughout the day, and they used to visit one plant in my terrace-garden frequently.  I took that as a sign that they’re building a nest, and ensured they don’t get disturbed when the visited.  I tried taking a few pictures, but couldn’t manage good ones: these birds are very shy, and any they’re very alert to any movement or human presence.  There’s a better photo at wikipedia.

Exactly one week after they started arriving, they had built a nest and they didn’t make as much noise as earlier.  That made me curious.  I checked out their nest, and was quite delighted to see an egg:

Red whiskered bulbul's nest with egg
Red whiskered bulbul’s nest with egg
Red whiskered bulbul's nest with egg -- camera flash on.
Red whiskered bulbul’s nest with egg — camera flash on.

The next day I woke up to a lot of mayhem, lots of bird noises near the plant.  I didn’t feel like disturbing anything there.  When the commotion died down, I went to check, and saw the egg was missing.  That was a sad end to the week-long activity around the nest.  I initially suspected pigeons, permanent residents in the terrace, to have caused the damage.  However, later in the day, a big crow came by near the same plant (crows have never come inside the terrace earlier).  Wonder what this all means, and where the egg vanished.

3 thoughts on “Red-Whiskered Bulbul”

  1. Did you by any chance removed a leaf or so while trying to take a pic of the nest? In wildlife photography world nesting photography is considered unethical because of the problem that happened in front of you. Next time take pics of birds but not their nest or eggs.

    1. Thanks for the tip.

      I was careful to time the pic when the birds were away (I monitored their movements for a while before). Also, I didn’t disturb the tree while taking the photo.

      But obviously something went wrong, and I can’t rule out me having done something.

      But the curious thing is where did the egg vanish? I don’t think birds can carry it on their own. Is anything like that known to happen?

  2. Recently two Bulbuls built a nest on my balcony. Layed two eggs. After a few days one egg hatched. I have taken pictures of the cute bulbul babe. Seeing the chick growing is really fascinating. You just got be careful to take pictures when the parents are away.

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