was still dark outside when I woke up and got myself ready for a bird
ringing session at Sungei Buloh Nature Park. As I walked towards the
Nature Gallery, a pair of small birds caught my eye. Moving closer,
I noticed that one of the birds has an elongated tail feather. This
is only seen in the male Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius).
Upon further investigation, I realised that this pair was actually
busy building a nest!
The nests of the Common Tailorbird are found at Simpoh Air scrubs
around the Park. Nest building for the Common Tailorbird is a job
undertaken by the female. The male can be seen escorting the female
on her material collection rounds. Using a single leaf or a cluster
of leaves, the 'cover' of the nest is formed by the female who meticulously
pierces an equal number of holes on each leaf edge with its finely
pointed bill as a needle. Spider silk or fine grass serve as thread.
Stitching back and forth through the holes, the bird joins each leaf
seam together, tying knots as it sews and leaving an entrance hole
at the top. Fine strands of grass are used to weave the cup nest inside
the folded leaf. Once that is completed, feathers, lalang and other
materials are used to line the inside of the nest that would keep
the nestlings warm.
of bird: Upper parts olive green; centre of crown rufous;
for female rufous colour restricted to forehead. Side of head and
underparts white. Distinguished from Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus
atrogularis) by white under-tail coverts. In breeding season the
male's central tail feathers are an additional 3cm longer.
Breeding season: Peak
period during February to May.
No. of eggs laid: 2 to
5 pastel blue eggs speckled brown.
Incubation to Fledging:
Voice: a persistent loud
chee-yup Chee-yup, incessantly repeated.
Habitat: Forest edge,
garden, parks, open country, scrub, mangrove.
Status: Very common resident