Behaviour of Yellow-vented Bulbuls

Subject: Behaviour of Yellow-vented Bulbuls
From: Gil Langfield <>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 19:41:32 +1100
Here is a serious attempt at raising the level above "Where to watch birds".

While I was in Saigon last week, I had lunch with a friend who lives (in an
apartment block - where else) in Singapore.  In order to improve his skills
as a photographer, he and his wife have been photographing two nests of YVBs
on his balcony over the last 6 months or so.  He says that in order to
photograph, you spend a lot of time observing the behaviour of the birds and
he states that he is convinced that, after feeding the chicks, the adults
EAT the droppings of the chicks.

I told him that the conventional wisdom was that the parents took the
droppings away and dropped them elsewhere so as not to foul the nest and
also so as not to alert predators to the presence of the nest.  He replied
that he has most definitely seen the parents eating the droppings with great
anticipation and relish.  He believes that the food (lizards, other insects,
mangoes, bread, etc.) spends so little time in the chicks' intestinal tracts
that it is only partly digested and there is plenty left to nourish the
parents.  In addition, the adults spend all of their time foraging for the
chicks and have no time to feed themselves except in the manner described above.

Can I please ask for comments from the (learned) group?


Gil Langfield
Melbourne, Australia

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU