Nesting of Dollarbirds
Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) are hole nesters. They do not excavate their own nests but make use of old nests made by woodpeckers and barbets. The nests can be in a dead tree or tree trunk or in living trees but the nest seen by Jonathan Cheah in late April and early May 2006 was the rotting top of a palm stem, probably a nibong (Oncosperma sp.). The nest is usually unlined and the bird lays a clutch of two white eggs, although in this case only one chick developed. Both parent birds helped in the feeding of the chick. What they brought were mainly insects, high protein food.
As rollers generally eject pellets of the undigested insects that they ate earlier, it would be interesting for future observers to note whether the chicks also cast pellets.
Our bird specialist R. Subaraj has added that Dollarbirds commonly nest at the top of rotting coconut trunks.
Input and images by Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong.