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Old Apr 6, 2011, 6:54 AM   #1
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Default Olive-Backed Sunbird Nest

Recently, I discovered a olive-back sunbird nest in a hospital garden near my house. If possible, I hope to use this thread to document the whole process from nest building to the chicks finally leaving the nest.

The nest is built over a pond about 3 meters from the walkway, hanging by a branch. I tried using the Pentax 1.7x adapter with the DA 60-250mm, but find the combo quite difficult to use because lighting is poor (had to use ISO1600) and the little birds are really fast. AF seems to be a problem.

So in the end, I decided to use only the DA 60-200mm and crop the pictures.

The Nest - Under Construction


The Female building the nest




The pair comes to the nest every 30mins, sometimes they take longer. It seems that the nest is now almost completed, so they should be moving to the next phase soon.

Portrait Shot - The Father (Heavily cropped)


Portrait Shot - The Mommy (heavily croppped)

Last edited by calvinlo; Apr 6, 2011 at 6:56 AM.
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 8:20 AM   #2
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Should be fun to watch the progress, The last shot still looks sharp even with the crop, nice job. I just ordered the Kr it looks to be doing good considering all the focus controversy.

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Old Apr 6, 2011, 8:55 AM   #3
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Lovely - it will be interesting to follow your series.
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 9:31 PM   #4
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So glad you spotted these little birds at work, and are kind enough to share your great photos. Will look forward to seeing more of the progress of the family!
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Old Apr 6, 2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the kind words. I do hope to check out the nest every two days to monitor the pair's progress.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 3:09 PM   #6
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Dad is certainly a pretty bird, and Mom's not so bad herself. How interesting to see the nest, not at all what I'm used to thinking of when someone says "nest". It'll be fun to watch how things progress this summer.
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Old Apr 7, 2011, 6:16 PM   #7
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Great shots so far, can't wait to see the continuing series.
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Old Apr 8, 2011, 9:46 PM   #8
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I thought it was time for LOVE ...but apparently the mommy thinks the house is not ready yet.

Starting working early in the Morning


Peek-a-Boo...


Remarks: In the morning, the sun is in front of me, so I had to recover the shadows in PP. Decided to use fill-flash today...but unfortunately, I had to use the on-board flash because I have not bought the Metz 50 yet. In the end , can only shoot in 1/180.

I think it's time for me to forgo my lunch to save up for the external flash...
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 12:35 AM   #9
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Nice additions to the series - however I would be very wary of using the fill flash. Your close presence may be tolerated (but should be kept to a minimum) but if you keep flashing them they may abandon the nest they have worked so hard to build - even with eggs when they have been laid. I don't know these birds so I'm not sure if they are that skittish or intolerant or not.

I also thought you were shooting these from a little further away and cropping - if you are close enough to use fill flash then I'm surprised as the birds seem very tolerant !
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Old Apr 9, 2011, 4:41 AM   #10
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Actually, olive-backed sunbirds are known to be pretty bold. According to some internet fact sheets, it says "The Olive-backed Sunbird is very bold and often builds nests close to and even in human habitation (balconies, porches, corridors)...They usually nest low in bushes and trees, but also close to humans and even in high-rise buildings!" (see http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/bird..._jugularis.htm)

Thus far, I'm around 3 to 4 meters away from the nest, and the pair seems to be comfortable with my distance.

Having said that, you may be right about the flash. I'll be more careful with the use of fill-flash. However, shooting in the afternoon with the sun behind me is out of the question as there are too many children around. I do not want them to discover the nest and destroy it.
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