10 June, 2010

That’s the Way It Is: Whiskered Treeswift

10th June 2010, 6.00pm, Kemensah, Selangor.

Something just didn’t seem right when I arrived at the nest this afternoon. There was no bird  at the nest and the nest  itself looked rather untidy. Then I noticed that the egg was no longer there.


I searched  below the nest and I saw  the remains of the  soft egg shell. I couldn’t see any movement inside the nest and there was no sign of the parent birds coming to the nest to feed; not a good sign._DSC0085

Then I saw  a trail of red ants which led to a little object that they were trying to move. Yes it was what I had feared- the tiny carcass of the chick. She had probably fallen from the nest earlier today and died.



Just to give an idea of the size of a newly hatched Whiskered Treeswift.


Notes: The diameter of the 10 sen coin is  approximately 19 mm


Sad as it may be but that’s the way it is in the animal kingdom. Some survive to complete a full cycle of life and some don’t.

In conclusion I would say that the incubation period for this species is between 24-26 days ( assuming that 16th May was when the egg was laid). One thing for sure, they had given me some very useful insight into the lives of  these beautiful birds. It would have been good to be able to see the chick  at  different stages of development but it wasn’t to be.

Life goes on and  before I left the area, both parent birds came to a nearby tree and it looked  as if they were already starting another round of the procreation process. Thanks and good luck  to them.




  1. Very sad Madi, but you are right that only the fittest survive and by the end of the season there will be many new Treeswifts to take the place of the previous generation. Well done in recording this nest and for gathering the information you have.

  2. Yes, it is sad. I hope they have more success with their newest effort. Will you continue to follow and document this time? I hope you can.

  3. Another failed nesting!.
    I have experienced this many time.

  4. Aiyoo sad to see this happen...........

  5. Im just curious; would they reuse the same nest should they go for another round.

  6. looking forward to joint you.