A Case of Embryo Mortality

One night, while I was working at the table beneath Bulbulicious’s nest site, I witnessed a suspicious event. At about 1:30 after midnight, I heard a rustle from Bulbulicious in her nest, and then I spied her carrying something in her beak as she speedily flew out. I followed the little courier into the bird room where she had already dropped her package.

Embryo of White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis) found dead-in-shell, 16 July 2009

This Bulbul rests in peace with an unfeathered wing behind the head.

Bulbulicious did not delay in disposing of the remains. Her actions were swift and almost robotic, at that point, and perhaps they should be lest the health of the rest of the clutch be compromised. I, on the other hand, took some time both to mourn the loss of the Bulbul (or at least, the cluster of cells that looks much like a Bulbul chick) who never came to be and marvel at the delicate packing of the late stage embryo in the egg.


~ by finchwench on Thursday, 17 September 2009.

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