Finally, a bit more outdoorsy tasks today than the past three days. One task was checking up on the status of a nest site where eggs should be hatching soon. This nest started with four eggs, then three, then two yesterday, and when we checked this morning, one nestling had hatched and was wearing a half-egg-shell as a diaper. So cute. In the afternoon, there was still one egg and one nestling, and based on our past experiences, eggs laid on different days should still hatch on the same day so it is quite possible that the remaining egg is empty.
While using the endoscope on the nest cavity, I found a yellow female Trabala vishnou guttata. I believe it was laying eggs on the shrubs, and close by there was a pupal cocoon too!
Another task was photographing a small Red-bellied Tree Squirrel resting in a tree cavity. It was a pretty interesting sighting since it was the first time us seeing a squirrel in a cavity. Furthermore, since the hole entrance was about the same size as a Muller's Barbet's nest entrance, this shows the possibility that squirrels are capable of entering a barbet's nest and wreck havoc!
The third task was that one of the morning exercisers found a very young barbet nestling (still a week away from fledging) on the ground. Why did it leave nest so early, we do not know. We brought it back to the office and took care of it. Soon, it was time for us to head to the garden to look for its parents and potential siblings. After a long search, we finally found another young barbet just learning how to fly. After observing it, we saw the parents coming back and feeding it (with cicadas, berries, etc).
After watching the interactions, we brought the rescued barbet back to the garden and allow the parents to find and feed their missing offspring. As dusk arrived, we decided that it is simply impossible to the young birds to survive their (first?) night outside and decided to bring them back to the lab for an overnight stay before releasing them tomorrow morning.
After working indoors for several days, I forgot how exciting but also tiring field working is. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed everything.
PS - I shall be going on a river trekking trip this weekend (leaving Friday night) in Hualien, so stay tuned next week for some exciting stories and photos. Here's to wishing everyone a nice weekend (in advance). Cheers!