Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our Hot Property

Lately, thanks to the property boom in Singapore, I have been receiving many calls from property agents saying they had clients who were keen to buy our house.

But the property agents were not the only ones showing an interest in our house. A few weeks ago, a couple came calling without even making an appointment. In fact, they went right ahead to set up home in our balcony. Unfortunately, I was too slow with my camera and could not capture any evidence of their trespass.

After a few days, before their home was not even completed, the pair of yellow-vented bulbuls mysteriously stopped their project and never came back, leaving a mess of leaves, twigs, moss and other stuff on my balcony floor. I don’t know what caused them to abandon their project. I don’t think it was lack of resources. Maybe they didn’t like my hardworking maid disrupting their project every morning when she cleaned the balcony. Or they were upset with my intrusion into their privacy when I mounted my camera on a tripod just a few feet from their nuptial bed. In any case, my family was quite disappointed at this rejection.

Fortunately, my house is located in the prime district and before long, another couple came looking for a home. And they built their nest on the very same air plant that the yellow-vented bulbuls did. (By the way, hope some of you plant experts out there can tell me the name of this air plant). This time, I was better prepared. I had recently purchased a Canon zoom lens, and so I was able to spy on the pair of sunbirds (maybe it's only 1 bird, a female - I am not sure) from a bit further away.

Now I have plenty of evidence of their illegal building activity to present to you. But as I said before, good camera, great subjects, but …….


You can see from this first photo that the nest is just outside my son’s bedroom window. You can see also that construction work has only just begun.




And here is the final product.

Sunbird5 - Nest

But sadly, it appears that our property not so hot after all; because after the nest was completed, the sunbirds also left without moving in to their new home. I have not seen them since Sunday – two days ago.

Never mind. There will be a next time. By then, hopefully, my photographic skills would have improved. To encourage them, perhaps I should move this air plant to a more secluded spot.

By the way, any tips on how to improve my photos would be most welcome.

Earlier 'bird nests' stories:



Anonymous said...

fascinating story and pictures Chun See, we have a nest in a small gap in the flat roof over our bedroom, just starlings I think but they come back every year and raise another brood - so that we suffer from rustling and banging in the very early morning disturbing our sleep - so don't be too welcoming of these visitors you may suffer because of your hospitality!

Anonymous said...

These birds like to build a home in your compound because your garden is very inviting, not to forget they may even feel secured in this environment, but why do they fly away? Being birds, they have powerful instinct, able to sense that they are being watched by 'hawk-eyes', prying from hidden corners, or perhaps your maiden is too unfriendly towards birds.

Lam Chun See said...

I wonder if the birds are attracted to my garden becos of the many pitcher plants that my son has planted. I believe the pitcher plants attract insects which in turn attract the birds. Just guessing, maybe Cooler Insights will be able to enlighten us.

I just saw another sunbird in my garden (downstairs. The nest is in the balcony upstairs). It was just starting to drizzle and some water has collected on the leaves. This one is more colourful, probably a male. It was happily 'washing' itself. Too bad I did not have my camera with me.

Lam Chun See said...

Brian. At one time, we too had a similar problem as yours with pigeons. The bigger nuisance is from their droppings.

Anonymous said...

Nice Post!

Unknown said...

Its great to have feathered friends visiting your home garden once in a while. Certainly makes it more interesting to have new "pets" even though they may be temporary.

I believe that the immense construction going on around your neighbourhood may have ruffled some feathers (literally), leading to migration of some of the birds to neighbouring houses. Your place certainly has a nice, well watered patch of greenery in front.

Birds are also arboreal creatures, and all the fences, wires and tubes that are hanging with ferns, air plants and pitcher plants make excellent nesting spots. I believe the flowers would also attract the sun birds because of the nectar and insects?

Lam Chun See said...

Arboreal?? Wow Walter, I had to check the dictionary for that one.

"Connected with, or living in trees".

Victor said...

Hmm... the birds have a habit of abandoning their projects after constructing it? Maybe they built the properties for investment purpose and not for owner occupation? After all, you did say that your property is located in a prime district so the investment returns should be quite substantial, haha.

Anonymous said...

It is good to see birds in one's frontyard or backyard.
Hopefully, your feather friends will return.
We do not see any birds' nests within our residence, but we have seen several robins, cardinals and blue jays in our backyard. The cardinals and blue jays were hopping from the leafless branches during the past winter.
In the spring and summer, the cardinals responded to my whistle imitating theirs.

Anonymous said...

While on a short holiday trip in Japan, during the winter season, I was on a look out for some indigenous colourful birds but found none. Instead I found some hardy crows searching for foods along the highways. I understand the crow problem in Japan is as bad as in Singapore where these birds even attack passer-bys but clever enough to take flight on sighting uniformed men with air rifles (ready to cull them), even when they take cover inside the vans they are traveling! - very intelligent birds. In buddhist mythology, it has a few kind words for crows - they not only take care of their youngs but even the olds.

chinatownboy said...

hi Chun See,
Wow, Prof.Wee and his team would be very interested in your story! See: http://besgroup.talfrynature.com/

I too have my tales. Twice the sunbirds came to build nests. Imagine it built them on one of my hanging plants just next to the door! The bird even stayed for the night with his curved beak outside the nest each night. But alas, it decided that it was not a safe place to start a family.

The Yellow Vented Bubuls were more successful.

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks Chinatownboy. I already contacted him and he agreed to recast my story in their blog. Hope he can add in some of the 'missing links'.

Lam Chun See said...


I was mistaken when I said that the sunbirds (yes - there are two of them. The other one has some blue colour - probably a male) have deserted their nest. They do come and stay in the nest occasionally, but it is very difficult to photograph them
because the entrance to the nest is very small. Unlike the usual bowl shape, this one is just a tiny hole. Also, the entrance is facing away from our house, and because the balcony is narrow, there is no way to go around to
photograph them without disturbing the bird(s).

Anyway, I have rotated the pot of air plant on which the nest has been built to face our window. Hopefully, I can catch the right moment to take a good shot to share with you.

momoko69 said...

Hi, Chun See!

I would like to invite you to a show by Tapestry Playback Theatre. I read your blog and found that you love to tell stories about good old Singapore. If you have the time, please visit my blog at tapestryplayback.blogspot.com and you will get all the details about our shows this weekend. I really feel that we would be honoured if you could come. Please call me at 90068678 if you are curious about why Tapestry Playback Theatre wants to do personal stories for Singaporeans.

Yours sincerely,
Anne Chua

Lam Chun See said...

Momoko. Thanks for the invitation. But weekends are really busy with family and church activities.