Friday, July 29, 2011

A Chick's Story

This was originally posted in my old Photography Blog: Samurai of Light.  The tree where this nest was found has already been cut down.  It's a sad thought that I wouldn't be spotting a similar kind of nest anytime soon.  If ever I do see one again in the future, I promise to leave it alone.  I'm posting this again here to commemorate one of my greatest finds ever.  


On the start of the month, we noticed a small bird building a nest on the tree that's closest to our house. We left it undisturbed so that it would push through with its plans of laying the eggs there and rearing its young. 

This picture shows how the nest looked a week ago (May 2008). It got bigger and bigger as the days progressed and as strong winds challenged to rattle it off the tree's branch. Our constant peeks and glances must have contributed to that as well.  Although we didn't touch it or anything, it must have despised the extra attention.  At one point, I even tried feeding it earthworms!

In this next picture, I was able to capture one of the parents.  It's the closest I could get to the nest without scaring them off.  And I was only able to take a shot like this with the help of my new lens the Sigma 80-200mm Telephoto lens.  ^^

Taking a peak inside, I can already see the eggs!  This was the best photo I could take of the eggs.  I needed to use a flash and angle it in a way so that the light was directed towards the hole of the nest.  This allowed a brief moment of illumination just enough to expose the eggs in the picture.

And just earlier TODAY, when I checked the nest, I saw some of the eggs have already hatched!  Presenting the cute little chicks raising their beaks waiting for their mom to feed them.

Only days after, I took another peak at the nest and was surprised to see no movement inside.  I thought that the parents must have transferred their babies to another nest.  Minutes after checking the nest though, I saw the birds come back, both parents this time. One was inside the nest and the other was standing guard outside.  It didn't mind at all that I was just a few feet away from them.  After which, they flew off and never came back.  When I realized this, I knew that something must be wrong with the nest and probably the chicks as well.  Our rejoicing was cut short when my suspicions were confirmed, the chicks are already dead. :-(  

It was unclear what caused the death of the chicks.  One suspicion of mine was the tree lizard that I found hanging around by this tree a week later.  Another suspicion of mine was the aggressively angry parents of another chick that had fallen from its nest on the same day and was held captive by our helpers.  In fairness to our helpers, they had no intentions of taking the chick captive.  They just saw that the chick couldn't properly fly yet so instinct told them to get the chick and place it someplace safe, away from the preying stray cats in our village.  Unlike the parents of the small chicks above, these birds were overly protective of their young.  They actually circled the whole house early in the morning chirping away while looking for their missing baby.  And definitely, I partly blame myself for being too intrusive as well.  My intrusions may have caused the adult birds to abandon their nest, leaving their young on a very cold rainy night.  A lesson learnt the hard way - for me to know how to appreciate nature without being too intrusive so that its course may progress and prosper naturally.
Angry Birds! hahaha ^^  - The chick that fell from its nest.

Chick reunited with mom after our helpers returned it the next day.  But it's still stuck on this branch since it doesn't know how to fly yet.  Mom had to feed it in full view of everyone.

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