Sunday, March 11, 2012

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)


20cm in length, with a long tail. Brown or black upperparts, white rump, brown or black breast, white underparts apart from the red around the vent. The head and small crest are black.Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults.


India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and southwestern China; introduced to Fiji and Hawaii. It is also common in urban parts of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.


This is a bird of dry scrub, open forest, plains and cultivated lands.In its native range it is rarely found in mature forests. A study based on 54 localities in India concluded that vegetation is the single most important factor that determines the distribution of the species.


Red-vented bulbuls feed mainly on fruits, petals of flowers, nectar, insects and occasionally geckos.They have also been seen feeding on the leaves of Medicago sativa.Red-vented bulbuls build their nests in bushes at a height of around 2–3 m (7–10 ft; two or three eggs is a typical clutch. Nests are occasionally built inside houses or in a hole in a mud bank.In one instance, a nest was found on a floating mat of Water hyacinth leaves and another observer noted a pair nesting inside a regularly used bus.Nests in tree cavities have also been noted.
They breed from June to September. The eggs are pale-pinkish with spots of darker red more dense at the broad end.They are capable of having multiple clutches in a year. Nests are small flat cups made of small twigs but sometimes making use of metal wires.The eggs hatch after about 14 days.Both parents feed the chicks and on feeding trips wait for the young to excrete, swallowing the faecal sacs produced.


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