Re: Behaviour of Yellow-vented Bulbuls

Subject: Re: Behaviour of Yellow-vented Bulbuls
From: Ronald Orenstein <>
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 07:58:31 -0500
>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

This is certainly correct for many songbirds, though I don't know about
bulbuls in particular.  It is particularly common in the early stages of
chick growth when their digestive tracts are not yet fully developed.  Some
species may get as much as 10% of their nutritional requirements from fecal
sacs of their young during nesting.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          Internet: 

<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