Red-vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul

(Pyconotus cafer)

Size(19-20cm): It is a small Bulbul and is a familiar sight in the Indian cities.

Area: All India except the higher reaches of the Himalayas.

Habitat: Gardens, forests, scrubs and near human inhabitation.

My two words: Their body is brown with scaly patterns and a black head. The short black crest gives this bird an almost square shape. The vent is red and the rump is white. the bill is grey-black. The tail is black and is tipped white.

Juveniles are duller than the adults. Both the sexes are similar in appearance.

The Himalayan birds have the crown till the upper breast. The P.c. bengalensis subspecies is dark all over the head including the throat and the breast. They also lack the scaly pattern.

(Red-vented Bulbul nestlings)

Their call is a jolly be-careful. They feed on nectar, fruits, petals, insects and small lizards.

(Young bird)

The breeding season is from June to mid-September. The eggs are pink with dark red markings. 2-3 eggs are laid which roughly take 2 weeks to hatch.

These birds have on more than once laid eggs in one or the other trees in my garden. The newly fledged young birds are super cute.

(Newly born Red-vented Bulbuls)

These birds are a familiar sight in Indian cities where they are found in great numbers. They are enlisted as ‘Least Concern’ in the IUCN 3.1 and there numbers and range is currently expanding.

~Arjun Basandrai

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