A star is born

About a month ago, a cosmic event occurred in the backyard of our family gardens.

DAY 1- A bird couple were frantically weaving a nest, perched on the branches of a tree that was too low in altitude from the ground. We were quite happy about it, witnessing the beautiful architecture of the nest they were building intricately by bringing twigs, stems and straws available nearby. Our garden was now home to a Red whiskered Bulbul couple.

DAY 2 – We observed that one of the birds sat quietly in the nest through-out the day while the other one was pretty active and went about a bird’s daily routine of scavenging for food. My father suspected that the female was in the process of laying eggs.

DAY 3 – After we woke up the very next morning, we watched the nest from a distance. We could not see any bird sitting there. My father went ahead to take a closer look and to his amazement found this.

His suspicion proved to be true. The mother Bulbul had laid eggs the previous day. Three of them in total. The eggs were not like any other normal eggs we usually see and instead they were quite unique in color and very small in size, as you can see in the pic. We guessed the diameter of the nest to be approximately somewhat around 4 inches. So the eggs could not be more than 1.5 inch in length. Frequently the mother would come back and sit on the eggs to incubate them.

DAY 9 – In a week of time the eggs had hatched and out came the little birdies. Their skin looked like that of skinny cat which doesn’t have any fur. The little birdies had not opened up their eyes yet since it takes some time for the eyes to develop.

Day 9

DAY 11 – Look how peacefully they were sleeping. 🙂

Day 11
Day 11

DAY 12 – I accidentally shook the branch a little when I was trying to click a few pics. They thought their parents were back and instantly opened up their beaks to get food stuffed into them. I used to go near the nest only when the parents were out finding food for the kids. I became careful around them after this.

Day 12

DAY 15 – They had begun growing feathers on their skin. Look at the pointy scales on their head. Their skin now looked similar to a dragon’s back as seen on GoT rather than that of a skinny cat without fur.

Day 15

DAY 17 – They were growing so fast. The scales on their skin make them look like porcupine. They have still not opened their eyes.

Day 18

DAY 18 – kid 1 : Maa said it will rain soon. I want to see what rain looks like. Do you think it will rain today?
Kid 2 : look at that huge sky above us. Maa and Paa are flying around somewhere.
Kid 3 : Shut up! You can’t see a thing!

DAY 20 – I thought I will click a few shots with the mother while she feeds her kids. But doing that was impossible since if I went anywhere near them with the camera, she would fly away. So I devised a plan and suspended a wi-fi enabled point and shoot camera from a branch that was situated right above the nest. I could see the visuals on my mobile phone enabled through wi-fi hotspot connectivity and click pictures remotely without being present anywhere near the tree. Soon the mama bird returned with a grub in her mouth and you can see the results below. She was carrying a grasshopper’s head in her mouth.

Day 20

Upon seeing a foreign object so close to the nest, something that she had not seen before, she became a bit wary at first and kept looking at the camera. When she flew away again in search for food, I went back and quickly dismantled the camera setup suspended from the branch. I was able to secure a precious shot, something which very few amateur photographers are able to get. I was nothing but lucky. Also, you can see that they have opened their eyes. They can now see the world.

DAY 23 – In the morning, my father saw one of the kids sitting on the edge of the nest. It must have been the strongest one in the pack. You can see that they have full grown feathers now.

Day 23

DAY 24 – Soon we would see the whole bunch come out of their nests and sit on nearby branches.

Day 24

DAY 25 – The strongest one in the pack had flown away sometime in the evening. We could not locate him in the whole garden. Now two of them remained.

DAY 27 – we were now keeping distance from the nest as they were learning to fly. We abstained from clicking pics but couldn’t help clicking at least one. The parents were on vigil all the time when kids were practicing but by this time they were not afraid anymore and would sit at just an arm’s length away from us. Quite a spectacle it was to see them practice flying.

DAY 28 – All of them are gone and the nest is abandoned. The remaining two kids have also flown away.
Nature helped us witness such a beautiful thing. We are thankful.

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