Untitled by Dad Bear
And there were 2, a photo by Dad Bear on Flickr.

I received a frenetic call from my Dad this morning around 1145am. Apparently, V, my youngest, saw a bunch of big black mynas attacking what looked like one of the small chicks. So Grandpa rushed out to save the bird but was too late. The poor little one was already dead on arrival. Its poor mangled body lay motionless on the grassy lawn. Grandpa  then heard another cheeping sound coming from the grassy patch, just below the nest. It was another one of the chicks, on the ground and looking very helpless. By then,  in the background was the desperate incessant chirping sounds of Mum and Dad sunbirds, knowing they could do nothing to protect their precocious young chicks. Grandpa scooped up the the isolated chick and physically replaced it back into the nest.

We could do nothing to help the dead one (pictures in flickr here). Grandpa figured that either they were too hasty and tried to fly off on their own, or the nest got a little too crowded for everyone. From the above picture, it appears to snugly fit mature hatchlings, so maybe their late sibling might have fallen out of the nest accidentally from the tight squeeze. When I and M returned from school, they were saddened to hear about the demise of chick number 3 (let’s call him number 3). I had to explain to them that that was how it was in the wild. The strongest will survive, and they will live on to pass their strong genes on to the next generation. That way Darwin’s theory of evolution will be observed. It was no use blaming the mynas, who probably looked on #3 as a quick happy meal. I also explained to them that this was another reason why certain species had more than one young or offspring in each batch, to ensure that at least one or more make it to prolong the family line. We buried #3 next to Fluffy, V and M’s late hamster, in a little area of the garden reserved for dead pets.

I have readied the video recorder to capture the first few training flights. Hopefully, I will be at home to capture that and share it with everyone!

Other pictures taken today can be seen @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanyongkuan/sets/72157626651381198/with/5689764554/

On a photographic note. I decided that the chicks were too big now, they would simply fill up the entire 100 or 180mm macro lens. For today’s purpose, I used my Canon 24-70 F2.8L lens @ 67mm. Mounted and hand-held on the 7d, it gave excellent results. Again thanks to my bro Victor Cheah’s famous sandwich diffuser which is simply second to none!