Olive-backed Sunbird’s unusual nesting behaviour.

Sunbird nest at Halus

Female Olive-backed Sunbird flying back to nest inside a drain.

The Olive-backed Sunbirds and the Yellow-vented Bulbuls often built their nests close to human habitats. We have seen many photos of Sunbird’s nests at apartment balconies and home gardens. I have even seen them building nest on plastic plants outside a school principle’s office! Maybe over time they instinctively knew that humans are not their natural predators. Then I came across this nest at a country side location. (photo above). It appears to be exactly where a nest should be built.

Olive-backed Sunbird at HalusOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is the female sunbird that does the nest building (top) but for the Baya Weavers, the males are the architect and contractor ( bottom).

The nest is inside a concrete drain below the road level, away from prying feral cats, dogs and other would be predators. It is hanging from a flimsy grass stem too weak for any predators to use to reach the nest. It is just above water at its highest mark safe from ground animals. It is the prefect way for any bird to build its nest.

But this turned out to be another Olive-backed Sunbird’s nest. So why does this particular Sunbird took so many precautions to locate its nest while the urban sunbirds did the complete opposite? I will have to leave others to do a study on this behavoir. If you come across similar nests it will be good to document the location and maybe provide the answers.

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