Bulbul’s First Flight

Apropos of the post on more audible warbling of birds during lock-down.

 In that post, I discussed how red vented bulbul built a nest on my araucaria plant. The fledglings of that bulbul couple took their first flight almost two weeks ago.

Last year, the female bulbul laid two eggs. One chick flew off but another had a leg injury. He was hanging upside down from a tree, one leg entangled in the branch. We arranged a make-shift box for him, fed him day and night to make him strong for his flight. His mother used to visit daily, chirped loudly on the tree. She encouraged him a lot but was helpless to take him with her.

 Within few days, he gained strength to make his departure. But we didn’t want to let him go because we’d become accustomed to his daily chirping. Alas, he became a snack of a feral cat when he was trying to make a wobbly flight.

They brought threads, straws of broom, grasses, rootlets, small twigs, metal wires and lint to build a nest.

Luckily, the chicks made it this year. I just marveled at the construction of nest made by the bulbul couple. They brought threads, straws of broom, grasses, rootlets, small twigs, metal wires and lint to build a nest. One used to sit on the nest and other would just perch on the gate’s pillar or another tree to guard his companion or would hunt for food. Occasionally both of them left the nest in search of food. I also observed the parent bulbul hesitated for a minute in my presence before flying to her nest. What a heroic dive she took to catch a honey bee to feed her chicks.

Fledgling of bulbul ready to take his first flight
Red-vented bulbul chick

One day, the chick popped his head from the nest and tried to take a view of the surroundings. At times, I hopped to have a look at them. I even thought of using a ladder to have a closer view but there was no point in trying due to a bit aggressive nature of bulbul.

Fledgling of bulbul sitting on a tree

It reminds me of the story “His First Fight” we read in our college days. That story discussed the fear and anxiety of a young seagull to take his first flight. That was just a story. Now, I observed them daily, tried to protect them from the feral cats marauding day and night around my house. I’m euphoric about their flawless flight. One chick just flew away while another waited for a day on the tree, mustering his courage to take his first flight.  

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