Saturday, 9 June 2012

Nesting Olive-backed Sunbird

This Olive-backed Sunbird's nest was built next to some hanging flower pots in a driveway. According to the owner, a pair of sunbirds once built the nest across one of their doorways.

When I started to photograph this nest, there was already an egg inside. This was slightly unusual because sunbirds usually lay 2 to 3 eggs. The mother was constantly disturbed by visitors coming in the driveway. She would fly away and try to return to warm the egg as soon as the coast was clear. Once in a while, she would fly out to feed and quickly return.

After the egg hatched, she would leave the nest and return with small insects. For the first few days, she would still sit inside the nest, probably to make sure the chick was kept warm. At 1 week old, the mother was bringing back bigger insects. One of the insects she brought back looked like an orb web spider, minus a few legs. The chick fledged at around 2 weeks old. It did not fly off very far from the nest and waited at the branches of a nearby tree for the parents to come back with food. It was well-hidden among the tree leaves.

Female sunbird nesting.

Returning with small insects for newly hatched chick.

1-week old chick.

Newly fledged sunbird ~ 2 weeks old.