Sister Tuck and I are Birders, which are a more intense form of bird watchers, but we are in Cambodia working as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are not here to watch birds.
That said, we are ‘opportunistic’. We will not go out searching for birds to watch as we did with reckless abandon prior to this mission, but if a bird comes our way we will look at it.
Well, one came our way. A pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls nested just outside our front door so we photographed the nestling monitoring its growth. We first noticed an egg in the nest on April 2, and were excited when it hatched on April 14. It was fun, carefully watching so as to not be much of a disturbance as the chick grew.
The chick grew by leaps and bounds being fed insects and berries by its parents. By 10 days it was positively huge, compared to its birth size, as shown by this picture I took on the morning of April 24.
As we left the home that morning for a meeting, we glanced into the nest and found it empty, but with the parents making a huge racket in the trees above us. We searched all around the nest hoping to find the chick had fallen, but to no avail. After the meeting we searched again and still found nothing. The parents hung around for another day mournfully talking to each other.
We felt something akin to love for this chick and mourned its loss with its parents.
It’s been more than a week now, allowing me to write this post. I understand the cycle of life for these small creatures, eat and be eaten but that does not relieve the sadness.