A Dead Chick In The Garden…
By YC Wee, 31st August 2014;
In late May, I found a dead chick lying on the ground in my garden. Only a few ants were around to feed on the chick. How it got there is a puzzle. It was definitely not pushed out of the nest, as all the trees were some distance away. A predator could have dumped it there. But then the dead chick was intact, no parts missing. So what was the intention of the predator, if not to feed on it?
I have not been able to identify the dead chick. I have images of a two-day old Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) but it is definitely not a bulbul (centre left). I did encounter dead Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) chicks lying around in the garden some time before. This dead chick may be Javan Myna but I am not sure (centre right). Any opinions?
The dead chick is blind, meaning that the eyes have yet to open. Its entire body is sparsely covered with natal down. These are fluffy, soft, vaneless feathers that lack a feather shaft. Natal down is present only at the time of hatching. Thus this chick is most probably about one or two days old.
Source: Bird Ecology Study Group