Monday, May 29, 2006

Baby Photos from 2004

No, my wife and I are too old to have babies. What I want to show you are photos of the Yellow-Vented Bulbuls that hatched in my neighbour's backyard in 2004. Knowing my children's love for animals, she alerted my kids who took these photos.

Here's the proud mum.

bulbul mom

Date of photo below: 10 May 2004

bulbul chicks1 (10May)

Date of photo below: 11 May 2004

bulbul chicks2 (11May)

Date of photo below: 13 May 2004

bulbul chicks3 (13May)

Date of next 4 photos: 18 May 2004. Shortly after that, they flew off.

bulbul chicks4 (18May)

bulbul chicks5 (18May)

bulbul chicks6 (18May)

bulbul chicks7 (18May)

NOTE: To get a better view, click on any of the photos and you will be brought to my phato album hosted at

Ever since I started blogging about these wonderful creatures, I have done a bit a reading up.

The name of this bird as you already know is the Yellow-Vented Bulbul. It is one of the most common birds in Singapore. They are found nearly everywhere except in the deep forest. Originally from the mangroves and coastal scrub, they have adapted to become one of the most common birds in cultivated areas (parks, gardens, and plantations).The success of the Yellow-Vented Bulbul is probably due to their wide ranging diet of both plants and animals. They are fond of berries and small fruits, especially figs and cinnamon tree fruits. They sip nectar, nibble on young shoots, and snack on insects. They forage in bushes and trees for berries and insects, and may even catch swarming insects on the wing.

Yellow-Vented Bulbuls breed widely in Singapore in February to June. Courtship involves wing and song displays. They raise and lower the crown crest as they sing. Yellow-Vented Bulbuls build well-camouflaged but flimsy, loose, deep, cup-shaped nests. They use grass, leaves, roots, vine stems, twigs. The nest may be untidy on the outside but are neatly lined with plant fibres. They nest in a wide range of places from low bushes, creepers to high trees. They are so used to humans that they may even nest in ornamental plants in residential gardens and even balconies! 2-5 eggs are laid, variable in colour from white to pinkish, with lots of reddish-brown to lavender spots. Both parents incubate and raise the young.

You can view some stunning photos of the Yellow-Vented Bulbul here (courtesy of bocavermelhaL.B.)


Anonymous said...

When I was a kid I like to watch colourful birds, the small pond kingfisher was my favourite. It would perch very still on a branch over-reaching a section of the pond, and would dart into the pond when a small fish surfaced, catching its prey in swift dive. In recent time,I discover a more annoying bird which produce a aweful unbird-like throaty sound. It likes to perch in large foliage tree, well hidden. Out of curiosity, I tracked down that little fellow and found out that it was of canary stock, quite big, with yellow and black feathers.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Malaysia! What a joy to chance upon your blog in my search for further info on the yellow-vented bulbuls. I like the photos and must say you are lucky the nest is built low!
A bulbul is incubating its 2 eggs in the nest built in the bird-nest fern hanging right in my patio.About 7 ft above ground. I have to climb up a ladder once a day to do a quick shot of the nest in order not to jeopardize the situation. Otherwise, I view the going-ons from behind my tinted glass panes in the living room.
In March 2006, I had the chance, for a brief period, to observe the activities of another bulbul and its babies before tragedy struck on day 5 of the babies' lives. If you are keen, I bogged my account in Just type in "a small miracle" in the search box to view. I'm in the process of blogging the current bulbul's habits, which is into its 8th day of incubation. I'm only shooting with a Sony cybershot T5 but find it pretty satisfactory. If you have any morsel of advice, do add in your 2 cents worth. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came across your post while searching for breeding timeline of the yellow-vented bulbul. There's currently one nesting in my shrub outside my home, and wanted to know how long the eggs are incubated before they hatch.

Lam Chun See said...

Hi, I am sorry, I cannot remember the incubation period for the eggs. Maybe you can try the link in the article.