Finicky birds

Amal Chatterjee
7 min readOct 13, 2022

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I usually write about serious social issues but today I am in the mood of writing about finicky birds that will put you in a lighter mood of laughing and enjoying the caprices of birds.

Source : Photo of the bird nest I made and ignored by the finicky birds

One day I decided to make a bird nest to put up high in my lychee tree so I found a piece of PVC pipe and put a wire screen on one side of it, drilled some holes and tied it nicely with wire so that the nest will be safe from tree climbing snakes that make raiding the bird nests for their tasty dinner as their favorite passtime.

I then climbed up the tree with a ladder and tied the nest securely in between a fork of the branches with a nylon rope so that the nest does not fall off during typhoons because this country is cursed with numerous typhoons all the time.

To make the nest more comfortable for the prospecting birds, I put soft grass in it to make it more inviting and then I anxiously waited to see if some birds got curious enough to check out my sturdy and comfortable nest.

Now I am sure the birds took notice of my offer being naturally curious and checked it out for its suitability but alas they found it not to their taste. It is unbelievable how finicky they can get to my disappointment. If I was the bird, I would not have wasted any time to occupy the nest and defend it with my claws and beak from the encroachment by other birds but I am not a bird, just a bird lover.

So today I took a photo of the nest to prove the point that you can bring a mule to a water trough but cannot make it drink from it so I think these birds are like the mule. They believe in their own ability of making a nest that they are proud of so I reluctantly salute their independent spirit although still a bit peeved at their refusal to accept my masterpiece.

Source : Google photo of BulBuli birds of India

I have been saving bird chicks since my childhood and one day found a baby bulbuli that had fallen off the tree during a storm and needed saving. It had no feathers and was quite ugly to look at but I brought it home and fed it gruel and other tasty tidbits several times a day so it gained weight and developed beautiful feathers of myriad of colors. It was now a beautiful bird that chirped with melodious sound.

My happiness had no limits but the feral cats had ideas of their own because there was no word for love in their dictionary so one day they grabbed the bird from its perch that was high on the wall, ate it and smirked at me to show me who was the boss. I was crestfallen at their audacity.

Source : Google photo of Khanjani bird in India

Then later one day I found a bird called khanjani trying to make a nest in a hole in the wall that was only 4 feet off the ground so I was struck by its stupidity and decided to give it a hand. Not all birds are so stupid but khanjanis probably rate quite high. I could not persuade it to make a nest much higher up in another hole in the wall to keep it safe from the feral cats that were always around and making plans of their own so I decided to help the stupid bird.

I made a clay wall in front of the nest and made a nice circular hole in it that no fat cat could enter. My effort was successful because the bird came and went frequently making me suspicious of its intent. Then one day I heard a chorus of chirping when the mama bird returned with a mouthful of tasty worms. Now I did not have to wait long to see the result of all the effort of the bird and baby chicks started to look through the hole and waiting eagerly for the mama to return with more food for them.

In their eagerness to prove their growing up status they started to make hesitant efforts to fly but landed on the ground so I had to pick them up one by one and put them inside their nest to save them from the cats. I kept up this effort to save them until their feathers grew enough to enable them to fly so one day they did to the great disappointment of the feral cats.

In the nature we find some very clever birds although khanjani is not one of them and some very stupid birds like ostriches who just dig a big hole in the ground and lay their eggs in it then they stand guard on it by turns to protect the eggs. I can understand their conundrum as they are big birds that cannot fly so they have no choice but to make a nest in the sand.

The clever birds know how to make nests high up the ground where their chicks are safe until they can fly. I will put some photos of their nests that wildly vary from each other in style and substance depending on their ability and the resources available to them.

Source: Google photo of a cuckoo in India

But no bird I know is as clever as the cuckoo. It is not only super clever, it is also the laziest bird. It lays its eggs in the nest of crows where the crow does all the hard work of incubating the eggs and then feeds the chicks once they hatch. Even when the chicks grow their feathers that are black, the crow still thinks, it is her chicks and assidously feeds it all kinds of tasty tidbits. The cuckoo probably gets a kick out of making a fool of the crows.

Source: Google photo of a crow in India

The crow has a very low IQ among birds so has no idea that it has been duped while the cuckoo goes around laying more eggs in other nests and enjoys the free ride. We humans should take lessons from the cuckoo and start putting our babies in other nests of stupid people so that we too can get a free ride and start sowing our wild oats. I am just joking so do not take it seriously.

Some birds show extraordinary skills in making their nest while others do a ramshackle job of making a nest that are not only ugly but fall apart during strong storms. If you ever see a crow nest, you may find surprising things in it like a key ring with a bunch of keys you lost some time ago or bit of wire, spokes of bicycle and all sorts of other junks. A crow has no sense of aesthetics in making a nest like some other birds.

Here is a power point to show you different types of bird’s nest although it is not comprehensive.

It is called Bird’s nests!AhEN7UwabCmTcVVXvgDXpvB3VVQ?

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Originally published at on October 13, 2022.