Mar 26, 2012 Views: 4004
"Domesticating" Pycnonotus goiavier
“Domesticating” Pycnonotus goiavier
By Prof. Isidro T. Savillo
Tropical gardens, yards or any less disturbed nook of a shrub (mostly “thorny” plants and even crotons) in some corners of concretely- fenced residences can be a probable nesting site for Pycnonotus goaivier1 or yellow vented bulbuls. They have this tendency to re- nest in shrubs (e.g. citrus plant) where they successfully hatched their eggs and were able to coach diligently their young to fly out of the nest . After a year or so, they may choose to nest in a different shrub (e.g. croton- Codiaeum variegatum ) but in similar vicinity just a few meters away from the former nesting site. They prefer nesting sites that are less visited or disturbed by people and may prefer less people in such residences. It seems that their behavior in choosing these nesting sites or re choosing the same site as well as finding a new nesting site within the vicinity has something to do with their familiarity with the human occupants. Their low lying nests are within human reach and if they are left alone, it seems that the nesting vicinity becomes a long term choice. They are shrewd in choosing the nesting site mostly hidden completely from view and difficult to discover because of their noiseless strategy. Pycnonotus goiavier fly usually from below in going to their nests which make it difficult to spot. In their silent maneuvers for long in nest making and egg incubation, there comes a time that this would cease when the pair would have to feed their feathered young. Chirps from nestlings as well as the protective and call for- feeding sounds generated from both parents will reveal their actions leading to their nest location. It is in this fragile situation that these birds need not be disturbed. Parents are continuously feeding their young by flying back and forth and there will come a time that these fledglings have to fly out of the nest. The parents would guide these birdlings in their first awkward flights and would do so without human presence nearby. To repeat, this is a very sensitive stage and humans, dogs and cats and other factors detrimental especially if the birdling falls to the ground for failing to hit a branch should at least be absent. Sometimes a fledgling out of two or three brood is still weak to fly a moderate span and may expose itself dangerously on the ground. After a week, the fledgling was spotted in the citrus plant within the vicinity, transformed to a miniature look of the parent but still calls for feeding where the parents still ferried food for their progeny. Considering that these birds are known to be nomadic 2, the young birds may soon be difficult to track down by mere observation.
Familiar lively chirps of Pycnonotus goiavier mostly daily would inform us that they are within the vicinity especially if there are fruit bearing trees in the yard and/or robust flowering /vegetable gardens providing them with insects to eat or they have nests or looking for nesting sites in the vicinity. They put out some types of sounds which are nice to hear and sometimes they are also the morning keepers- sounding off during dawn. [This made me remember very well the early morning birds that calls out loudly when the dawn breaks at the Gast Haus , Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum, FU- Berlin, Germany where I stayed .] This is how far P. goiavier can be “domesticated” but this is much “nearer” in terms of domesticating other similar birds in the wild .
1. Pycnonotus goiavier in flight- Philippines at http://www.romyocon.net/2011/05/yellow-vented-bulbul-in-flight.html
2. Pycnonotus goiavier (Singapore) at http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/birds/Pycnonotus_goiavier.htm