I find the tailor birds flitting about on the ground and the sunbirds and flowerpecker on low bushes, always busy rushing about as if that was the last day of their lives. Most often, they would be off even before I could line my camera lenses on them. It was under very tragic circumstances that I finally managed to get them within shooting distance.
15th February, 2014
I was returning for lunch from my clinic and I heard the agitated calls of a flower pecker from a bush next to my verandah. I knew they had a nest on the mango tree that spread its branches over my lawn. I used to see them hopping around the branches all day.
Today they were sounding very upset about something, and I realized why as soon as I set my eyes on a fledgling sitting on the ground, looking very weak.
It had obviously been dislodged from its nest, probably by a marauding crow.Since it had fallen the ground from such great height, it would have been in a complete shock. And when I looked closely I realized that the poor little creature was being eaten alive by the fire ants.
The mother bird was anxiously trying to get its little one to move. It was an obviously futile exercise. The little bird was in no shape to respond or move anywhere in its condition. I had to intervene, though it was against my policy to get involved in Nature's, sometimes cruel, ways.
I picked it up, all the while followed by an anxious mother bird, pulled out some seven ants from the little bird's body and placed it inside a half portion of coconut husk. This I placed on an old tea bush so it would be visible to the mother.
This little bird gave me some of my best close up shots I have ever got of a feathered creature. Perhaps it knew I was helping it. It had such a trusting look in its deep dark eyes.
I knew it was not destined to survive. It's right wing seemed broken and was devoid of feathers at the joint. Maybe the crow that attacked it was responsible for that. Even the leg seemed oddly twisted.
The mother bird was circling overhead and calling to it's baby but was refusing to come down to this artificial nest.
I was wondering if they were telling it to fly and join them but their effort didn't seem to have any influence on the little bird that continued to be in some sort of daze. I was worried it would fall off the edge of the pot though it seemed to have a strong grip on it.
I left them sitting guard over their precious offspring. That was the last I saw of it.