Cheewit cheewit … cheewit – I

The bougainvillea sapling planted by my father more than a decade back has grown into a large tree and spread its branches all over my home. Like all trees it supports a lot of biodiversity. Last week, I noticed a female Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asiatica) building a nest at the tip of one of the branches. I had never seen a bird build a nest before. The hard-working bird finally ended up building a neat egg-shaped dwelling with dry leaves, tree bark, twigs, cottony stuff and the like with an entrance just big enough for her to enter.

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When there’s a breeze, the nest at the tip of the branch gently sways making it look like a pendulum. I decided to take pictures of the bird as she flew back and forth from the nest. It proved to be a case of so near yet so far. I couldn’t do much with my 18–55 mm lens. Apologies for the pathetic shots! Cheewit cheewit … cheewit (That’s the call of the Purple Sunbird.)!

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I perched on a step ladder and watched my little friend for close to half an hour as she made small trips to fetch food for her little ones. After about five trips she flew far away. I could hear her calls from a distance. The babies could have probably been fast asleep then and by the time they woke up mamma would return with some goodies. I can’t wait to watch her homecoming. Cheewit cheewit … cheewit would be music to my ears!

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Acknowledgements: Salim Ali’s The Book of Indian Birds

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