Monday, May 20, 2013

Revenge of the Koel

Last week, we discovered a nest being constructed by a bulbul. It was located among some creepers just under the roof of the porch.

Nest when about half done.  See the yellow-vented bulbul?

The construction work was done solely by the female bulbul.  The male partner kept a distance, providing some form of air cover.  Hundreds of trips were made, each time with a little material.
Bulbul struggling with the construction material.  It took many attempts for it to get this piece of tissue off the barbed wire.

When about half done, the bulbuls caught the attention of a female koel.  This was about ten times the size of the bulbul.
Female koel gazed fixed at the bulbul's nest

And tagging along as consort was a male koel.  One day, I found the male koel pecking an object on the ground.  On closer look, it was an egg.  But it must belong to some other bird, perhaps a kingfisher, as the bulbul hadn't laid any yet.  And the egg was relatively large.
Do red eyes and evil go together?

The male koel came often.  Then I realized that it was searching but still failing to locate the nest.  The nest was an engineering marvel, done with no hands.  It was well hidden, and camouflaged.
Look ma, no hands!

The male koel came again.  This time I was prepared.  I had some stones on the ready.  The koel was in the middle of a bush.  I took a stone, aimed, and hurled it into the bush.  The stone cut through the leaves and branches and, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, made impact.  The bird dropped to the ground, grimaced for three seconds, curled up and lay still.

I went indoors and pondered over dinner plans or burial rites.  After a few minutes, I came out and saw this:
Resurrection or reincarnation?

From then on, the bird took on a new demeanor.  It didn't fly away when approached.  It stood its ground.  In the evening, it came back.  When I went up to it, it didn't budge.  I went to take the camera and we faced off nose-to-nose in the twilight:

I had a broom stick half an inch away from it.  I was hesitating whether to invoke Gen 1:26, and in the end let it go.

However, it was plotting its revenge.  A couple of days later, when no one was at home for just one hour, the bulbul's nest was completely destroyed.

A day later, the male bulbul came back and cried:

[If viewing on full-size computer screen, you can click on pictures to see original details.]