Thursday, 2 April 2020

Danni and Hector … our Crested Bulbuls 冠鹎 guān-bēi

Danni, “our” crested bulbul. Partner of Hector, below
Madagascar periwinkle. Parrot from Phuket
Hector: he’s not fat, he’s fluffed up in the “cold”! (19 deg c)
Photos by Arlene. Bulbuls are ‘common and widespread’ in southern China. They come in many varieties. The common ones in our garden: Crested bulbul, aka Red Whiskered bulbul, as above, Red Vented bulbul, Chinese bulbul and Black bulbul.
They form lifelong monogamous relationships.
Danni and Hector have been with us for years and breed in our mango tree. They sing melodiously in the late afternoons, high in our Flame Tree. 
We feed them. I got chatting one day about birds with an Aussie lady in our Siena Park and she reckoned you shouldn’t feed birds. So I looked it up. The advice of sites like the RSPB is that it’s OK to feed wild birds as long as any bread you give them is not too salty. We give them all-natural home-baked Lo-salt sourdough! I’ve also put out bread and plain rice at the same time. They prefer bread. As do our fish. Oriental, they may be, their tastes are more western.
ADDED (23/5/20): they catch bits of bread we throw up, in mid air, very competently. I presume because they also feed on flying insects. Though fruits and leaves are their preferred food. (I’ve come back to this post because this morning we saw the babies for the first time).
Our avian apartments. All recycled. The penthouse
was rescued from local jetsam, once a doll’s house?
Gradually collapsing over the years. Trunk is
recycled Xmas tree. Danni, above, was in the
Molinero fruit box, buttressed by home grown bamboo
ADDED (6 April):
This morning. Social distancing Bulbuls
ADDED (7 April): The 冠 (guan) of Bulbul 冠鵯 (guan bei) means “crown” or… gulp… “corona”… as in 新冠病毒 Xīnguān bìngdú = coronavirus.