Olive Backed Sunbirds in Singapore

Sunbirds in Singapore are quite common. They are used to human activities and habitats and often setup nests near to us. Season 1 brought us a lot of joy (and loud singing from Daddy Olive Backed bird haha), read our previous Olive Backed Sunbird story.

Handsome Dad. We know the birds have at least 2 nests in the vicinity. He is always on the look out for dangers, and will always call out to Mommy Sunbird.

#skb小鸟 (Instagram hashtag to track the Sunbirds) to track “Season 2”, nest started shortly after Chinese New Year. As usual, we noticed the parents inspecting our “plant”. And very soon after, we noticed threads, and debris on the floor.
Olive Backed Sunbirds in Sinapore

Just like episode 1 (no eggs in Season 1 when nest fell), the nest fell and two eggs ROLL out!
Despite the initial worry, we are glad both chicks are healthy, and always fighting for food.
Sunbirds in Singapore

Poor Mum, so 伟大 (self sacrifice). She had to stay overnight to incubate the eggs until hatch, and take care of the chicks all the way. As the chicks grow bigger, lesser space for her to sleep comfortably :p

In Season 1, one of the chicks died (due to malnutrition) and was removed by the parent Sunbirds (more room in nest)

Video (link) : Checkout our Olive Backed Sunbirds in Singapore. The Daddy Sunbird is very active in Season 2.

It only took Mommy Sunbird 1 week plus to construct a nest (bigger than herself!). One Month 23 days from nest to takeoff, that’s how fast our “tenants” graduated 🙂

01Feb – First thread spotted
16Feb – Mum sleep over
25 Feb – Egg spotted
03 Mar – Nest drop!
09/11 Mar – Chicks hatch!
24 Mar – Smaller chick nearly fell off!
24 Mar – Bigger chick flew off

During the last week, another funny episode happened. As the chicks are fledgling, perhaps nest is too small, one chick fell and got entangled! Mommy Meng Choo and Boon Xin did not dare to place the distressed bird into a temporary box. Luckily Boon Yee(no3) came home and help the chick settle back into nest.

Video (link) : Baby chick stuck!

Sunbirds, thank you for the beautiful memories 🙂

..ps.. as we speak, the smaller Sunbird is still left in nest, older chick has already flown off 2 days ago with parents. The Parents are still bringing food to leftover chick and encouraging him to take off.
..Update 28Mar – 2nd chick flew off with parents hooray!

Read our Season 1 story here.

Olive backed sunbirds so cute!

A pair of “Olive backed sunbird” has decided to build their nest right outside our corridor!
讲鸟话 has double meaning in our household (literally bird-talk, I cannot use TCSS as a bit crude for kids haha).

The past few weeks have been an amazing journey as we watch our tenants build and nurture their family.
Olive back sunbird nest

(Above photo taken 2 days ago)
We suspect the chicks are only 4 or 5 days old, we had heard some soft chirps from the nest.
Wow, not one but two chicks!
The weaker one is always in the shadow. The alpha will always pop out when it sensed food is around.

They grow fast, are always hungry (and getting noisier haha), and we heard the chicks will fly off in 3 to 4 weeks time.

(Two weeks earlier)
Mummy Bird was patiently incubating day in day out, she only flew off occasionally to feed. She was so tactical we only realised her “camping” after two days.
Olive back sunbird chicks

We were so impressed that we gave our tenants a hashtag #skb小鸟 (skb = SengKangBabies). Follow us on our Instagram for the latest bird story.
Olive backed sunbird

(Roughly 4 weeks ago)
We woke up to find the nest on the floor! We felt so sorry for the hardworking birds, I quickly improvised and tie the nest back to a sturdier stem. We waited and waited, the couple came back to inspect and certify the nest after 3 days.

(Research told us that it is common for Olive backed sunbirds to leave their nest alone up to 7 days after completion)

Problem was our nest dropped and was never really completed, it is smaller than usual. Feels like a 5-room to 3-room downsize, and we are worried the chicks will have lesser space to manoeuver.

Hardworking Mum multitasking, from building nest to incubating to feeding and now bodyguard.
Olive back sunbird photos

We suspect they are borrowing twigs, barks and souvenirs from neighbours pots and plants haha 🙂
Is that tissue paper for the inner lining? Quite elaborate and intrinsic, a masterpiece of a nest.

(Video taken 5 weeks ago)
Please watch the amazing nest builder in action, (Video Link) : Busy Olive Backed Sunbird parent building nest

(03 March 2016)
And this was how it all started, we first spotted this handsome bird outside our corridor. It got accustomed to us and started weaving. We found it unbelievable for a bird to settle so close to us, what a good learning opportunity and experience for kids.

Did some image research and realised this is the Olive Backed sunbird, the one with blue chest is male. This species of birds are very common in South East Asia. (Female only yellow)
bird corridor

Our little bird story continues, and we hope generations of Olive Backed sunbirds will recycle our humble nest.
Interested in birds, checkout BESG blog 🙂

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* Updated 2016 Apr 15 (Video link)

0.20 – house keeping yucks!
0.40 – Fledging, stretch
1.01 – hummingbird-like hovering!

*Update 2017 Mar Season 2 link **