The excellent arts of Nature!!..
By Aaryan Bhalla
Our nature and environment are very unique and extraordinary. There are many different kinds of animals and birds in this nature.
One of these birds is the Tailorbird which is known for the art of its nest making. I think we may all have seen many nests in our childhood.
Common tailorbird… one of the birds that visit my home besides babblers, mynas, bulbul n, once in a while purple sunbird.
I have also seen many nests in lockdown. This is my fourth nest in lockdown.
Birds have different distinctive and unique ways to build their nests that even humans can also not make by their own hands.
Out of this, the tailorbird’s nest is also very unique because it is made in leaves, which is also very tough. It is called Tailor Bird because it sews a single large leaf with spider webs and cotton and lays eggs in it.
The breeding season is March to December peaking from June to August in India, coinciding with the wet season. ( Rainfall season )
I saw that mother Bird was carrying cotton in her mouth among the plants of the Golden Canna. But, I couldn’t find the location of the nest. Then, fortunately in the second turn, when Father Bird brought some twigs, I saw that it jumped a big leaf of the Golden Cana and flew away after keeping the twigs.
That’s the delighted leaf at which TailorBird decided to settle its, family. If a person walks on the footpath in the park, their attention does not go to this nest at all because everyone is involved with its work, Its work was appreciated. but after taking some time we should know about the birds and the manner & way of making their nest.
It built the nest with many things such as small twigs, dried leaves, and spider webs too. However, it sewed the leaves together, the most cotton has been used in this nest and the nest is very well hidden by 2 leaves and camouflage really helped her defend the eggs from miscellaneous predators.
Whenever a bird makes its nest, it keeps its nest well tied to something because if a storm or rainfall comes, its nest does not break, this bird also did that.
Eggs in the Nest
13 July 2020, Monday
Today when I went to see the nest. So as soon as I disturbed one of the leaves to see the sewed nest, I saw that the Tailorbird came out of the nest and flew away out of fear and showed me something of white color, so I thought there would be eggs here and Tailor Bird gave her three small eggs. When all eggs were laid, their incubation began. Birds incubate eggs with great dedication, keeping them warm with their wings and protecting them as they can but many predators are in an environment which can eat them.
It looks quite big when taking photos. But they are very small and it takes 12 days to get out. so let’s wait for the small chicks of this TailorBird and gladly welcome them to this beautiful world.
Chicks: 18 July 2020, Saturday
Today’s happiest day. I had to wait 12 days to see this moment. Today Tailor Bird’s 3 chicks were born and today I came to know that the eggs were not three but four because one egg is visible in the nest.
You might be able to see that fourth egg in this picture given above.
These small chicks open their mouths when they listen to my voice or if the nest shakes. It is very hard to take photographs of TailorBird’s chicks in the nest because their nest is built deep inside the leaf
Because of this, the phone cannot go into the nest.
Tailorbirds have very good skills in cleaning insects. They eat away all kinds of insects and feed them to their small chicks and grow them.
If the female bird goes to get food for the chicks then the male (father) is always patrolled near the nest. Also, sometimes it goes vice-versa, so it takes them well to take care of their chicks.
19 July 2020, Sunday
Today, the last and fourth chick of this TailorBird was also born. I saw that the bird was carrying an egg peel. Then I came to know that the chick has hatched now and also has left the fourth egg. When I went to see them, the fourth chick was still inactive and was sleeping.
All of them slept on each other and kept each other warm. They have not even opened their eyes yet, they will take a few days to open.
I wanted to see these chicks without persecuting them, so that’s why I changed my departure time a little bit when their mother was away and out of the nest. Every time I entered the nest of chicks, they would open their beak for food. As if they are saying "mother first to me! Give me first! "
20 July 2020, Monday
Whenever I try to enter their area, a noise from behind comes as if the mother is worrying the father and saying - "Children are in danger".
TailorBird’s mother appeared to be sitting in the tree screaming.
Now the wings of two of these chicks have started coming out. But it will take a few days to get the wings out well.
They enjoy snoozing a lot on each other.
24 July 2020, Friday
Today I was shocked to see that two out of four children went missing. But today the small eyes of these two children were opened.
These chicks have grown up very much and are now starting to get out and also take their mouths out of the nest.
These two first appear to be fighting amongst themselves to ask for food.
To save the birds, bird lovers are also very important. After me, one of the bird's lovers is our cooking maid, Seema Saxena. She is like my elder sister. She knew everything about Sparrow and their chicks as she has seen many nests and chicks of the sparrow in her hometown ( in Lucknow )
She also likes my stories. We both have a reason to go out this July's scorching afternoon to see the Tailorbird chicks as no one is at the park during the hot afternoon.
• Episode 2: Indian White Eye
In " Hardwork: Nature is Unique " The journey of the chicks of Indian White Eye was successful. From their birth to the first flight, they happily flew into this emancipated sky.
I haven’t found many nests in my life as seen in the coronavirus during the lockdown.
But the main thing is that the nest which was the last Indian white-eyed bird made. Suddenly, it broke down one day due to heavy rain. Which I brought home, but the miracle happened that in the same place an another Indian White Eye made a nest which was looking like a swing, and laid three eggs same as previous White-eye.
When the chicks of this bird flew out of the nest, its nest broke, so I brought it to my house.
Incubation begins with Mother.
These eggs are of the Indian white who rebuilt the nest. Probably both of them will be friends and both of them would have said that from here my chicks flew to touch the border of this beautiful sky, you too can try here.
The Indian white eye is also a great architect as it makes it nest very nicely. Again like a swing on two branches on the white fig tree, the Indian White Eye built a nest and laid 3 blue eggs. It is also included in the art of nature as it is not an easy task to hang the nest like a swing between two branches.
This time the nest has been made a bit bigger. This is now my fifth nest during Lockdown.
26 July 2020, Sunday
Today was not a very sunny day.
Whenever I go to capture their photos on the camera. I Don’t know what they both think of me and start staring and gazing at me.
Their eyes were now larger, legs were visible with long claws.
First, they do not give me a damn response. But, when I still stand there they shout and scream for food. Now I am happy as they can create the sound from their larynx.
27 July 2020, Monday
Their sharp talons and the strong yellow beak will later become the perfect weapon and tool to pick up the food. The black plumage has changed to green. The flight feathers then grow in a sleeve. They already have full black juveniles. Now, many fewer days are left in this nest.
29 July 2020, Wednesday
Today I became restless after seeing the nest destroyed and disappeared. As of this morning, the nest was there.
I felt very sad and I had no intention of where the chicks would go. But, when I saw the mother birdie taking some food material in its mouth.
I saw the mother at the entrance of the gate of the park. Screaming and shouting for the chick.
Then, I saw something moving on the ground and that was the little chick. I say aww so cute it is flying slowly with the support of the ground. And get hidden in the grass.
Then, I saw that the chick was out from the grass and was scared too. Seema, Didi, and I both went to it and helped.
The chick's location was unable to be found by its parents. so we helped them to find their child by keeping it near the parents.
We kept the chick on the branch of a Rose shrub.
Nesting material for Indian white-eye nest
now let's see what the Indian White Eye bird added to its nest? Here's a pie chart given above.
- Twigs: 38.9% used
• Plant Fiber: 33.3% used
• Cowebs: 11.1% used
• Lichen: 11.1% used
• Hair: 5.6% used
2 August 2020, Sunday
Wow! How small are they
They were born that day. Hush! After seeing them, some words came out of my mouth. Today, two chicks of this Indian White Eye were born in this wonderful world.
Nonetheless, there is still one egg left for birth. This last chick will be born on this auspicious day of Rakshabandhan, hope that the third chick will be the sister of these two chicks.
They are so tiny. Very cute
' GOD IS GREAT '
3 August 2020, Monday
Due to the property of translucency their hearts are also visible. As they are just beneath the skin.
Only one day has gone for all three brothers and sisters and their fur coat is now growing. ( coming out of the body )
5 August 2020, Wednesday
The Diaper Duty of Mother Oriental white Eye :
Have you ever wondered, when these small birds start feeding their chicks non - stop, where all the CHICK POOP goes?
How do these small cities maintain Nest Sanitisation?
The answer lies in the most amazing adaptation by Birds The baby poop comes out in DISPOSABLE BAG which holds it together, termed as 'FECAL SAC'. The parent bird picks up the bag and drops it at a distance from the Nest. These Fecal Sacs are made of protein mucous membrane and act as 'DISPOSABLE DIAPERS' to carry the Chick Poop. Within seconds of feeding, the baby poops. So imagine how much poop in a whole day or whole feeding period. This is how they keep Nest clean, bacteria-free, smell-free, thus predator-free, thus giving babies more chances of survival.
Amazing Nature !!! Isn't it?
• 7 August 2020, Friday
The small Indian white eyes were maintaining social distancing and were not facing each other. As I thought, they fight with each other and are annoyed with each other.
We both ( Seema Didi and I ) went to the park to glance at the small cuties of the white Eye. In the Afternoon when no one is at the park.
This is one of my favorite parks I have ever seen. This is park No. 903 ( opposite my house ) of sector 9 Panchkula. I have seen a total of 4 nests in this park during the Coronavirus pandemic in lockdown and unlock days.
Playing with friends with joy and then fighting for the turn is part of our journey too.
Playing hide and seek, cycling, ice, and water, pakdam pakdhai, unch neech ka papda, etc. are also played by us in this Park only. I will never forget this park. It is also known as Vita park. ( by us ) The main dido s -: scolded by Bhatt uncle ( park in charge ) after doing naughtiness to walk on the grass or to climb on Vita booth’s shed.
Change of plumage
- 8 August 2020, Saturday
They were longer and the size was bigger, their plumage was now changing into white and green color. The wings were now growing on the head too.
- 9 August 2020, Sunday
Today I slowly entered their arena and I saw that the small star-like eyes were opened of the small cuties of white Eye. They were giving me a damn for food.
This was the first time that the mother shouted at me. When I clicked on their photographs. As she doesn’t want to take a risk as she has done so much hard work for her chicks.
The green, black, white, and yellow wings were out which were now recognizable. Now let’s wait for tomorrow for them to get bigger.
- 10 August 2020, Monday
Now almost all the fur is out. Now the nest fasts are becoming very tight.
Today is the 11 of August and now they are looking like their parents. Now, the time of their first flight is coming soon.
The fur of colors yellow and green was looking very unique. Let’s see what will happen tomorrow?
12 August 2020
I wish you a very happy Janmashtami. Today on this happy day the one chick of Indian white eye flew away from the nest. When I went to click on their photographs.
It was the first flight of this chick. Only this chick was active today from the other two.
One tree to the second tree. Then, it flew on a snake plant.
Wings were looking good and the eyes were shining and twinkling like stars.
Then, it hung on a dried wooden stick. Might be trying to protect itself from me. But, I don’t want to harm it. My only aim was to capture it in my camera into photos.
Then, finally after getting tired it rests under the bench. It was trying to bite my phone’s camera and me too.😄
This was the journey of the first chick from nest to first flight during the delightful days of Raksha Bandhan to Janmashtami.
Now, you were thinking where the other two chicks were?
Hence, they were lazy today and resting in their home.
Mother Birdie was shouting for her chick. Then, I felt that I should leave it alone with its family.🥰
One chick rescued
when I went to the park in the afternoon to buy something from the Vita booth I saw that one thing was moving on the grass and several crows were flying in the sky. when I went close to it. It was a small cutie of Indian white eye, maybe it was separate from its family. I tried to find its parents but I was not able to find them.
so, I helped it as crows were flying (crows are scavengers as well as predators too) in the sky. I didn’t want to take any risks at that time.
so I took a wooden stick from Park and I took the chick to my home.
my dad and mom were very happy to see it as it was very tiny. when the crows flew away. I kept the chick again at its home (nest).
Then I was happy that the parents had found their chick. now, I hope that they will continue their life happily.
now that’s the time which I don’t like is that the time that we have to end the story :
The excellent Arts of nature.
I hope that we will able to see more excellent arts of nature. Now the Tailor Bird’s and Indian white eye’s chicks have flown away. Our story will be over. But the story of their life will begin now.
The ever-filled nest became empty today. But in the end, it must be so. These chicks were so cute. I will never forget them.
Episode 3: The Lapwing Chicks
13 August 2020, Thursday
We all have visited Sukhna lake of Chandigarh and you must have seen a red wattled lapwing bird there which is of white color and the amplitude of their calls are very high as their pitch is very high. But have you ever wondered what their chicks look like? ok, let’s see….😮😮
Today again a miracle happened in our park no. 903. As I saw that the lapwings were there and when I went going closer to them. They were shouting and screaming. then I saw the two lapwing chicks were there. They were so cute and looked like ostrich chicks too.
Nests are difficult to find since the eggs are cryptically colored and usually match the ground pattern they are camouflage. In residential areas, they sometimes take to nesting on roof-tops.
They have been recorded nesting on the stones between the rails of a railway track, the adult leaving the nest when trains passed.
Some unwanted Guests
Earlier dogs were only a threat to sambhars only…now they have started disturbing ground-nesting birds and avian species. The lapwing was disturbing them when suddenly this dog targeted him.
Stray/Feral Dogs and Cats are massive threats to birds and mammals. They’re not a natural part of the ecosystem hence they disrupt the food chain. Raptors like Black kites, Shikra, and Crows also. But, the little ones are safe.
The chick leaves the nest and follows the parents soon after hatching. See picture
They are so cute and follow their parents when they feel scared.
Father lapwing goes and collects food material for chicks.
Mother and Father are lapwings with their family. A cute family. Lapwings are experts at diverting predators.
I am very happy because that’s for the 6th time for me that I have seen chicks during lockdown during a coronavirus pandemic.
If they could hear ……… Bye-bye …
These stories were life lessons during the lockdown and unlock days. God bless them all.
We will always be there for each other like today.
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THANK YOU SO MUCH!! 😊🙏
Disclaimer: It is advised not to take photos or videos of bird nests from such close quarters. It disturbs and agitated the parents and also exposes the nest to predators. Usually, nesting photos are taken by birders with 300mm onward telephoto lenses while standing far away from the nests. Please stay safe and keep them safe too.
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