Saturday, 29 January 2011

Common bulbul

Pycnonotus barbatus

Photo by J.M. de Bruyn (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

These birds are found throughout Africa, with the exception of the Sahara desert, and into the Middle East, through India and all te way to southern China and south-east Asia. They are also found in the south-east corner of Australia.

Common bulbuls are 18-19 cm long and have a wingspan of 26-30 cm. They weigh up to 50 g.

It is found in woodland, coastal bush, forest edges, riverine bush, montane scrub and in mixed farming habitats. It is also found in exotic thickets, gardens and parks.

They mainly eat fruits and berries, and some shoots and buds. Sometimes also nectar, insects and spiders.

The common bulbul breeding season varies along their range, but mostly in May-December. The nest is a fairly rigid, thick walled cup, usually situated inside the leafy foliage of a small tree or shrub. the female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated for 12-14 days. The chicks fledge 12-14 days after hatching. Each pair may procude 2 or more broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common to abundant over its extremely large breeding range. The population in Liberia is estimated at 3 million individuals and in southern Mozambique, the population is estimated at 5-10 million individuals. However, these countries cover only a small percentage of the species's total range so the global population is likely much higher. The population is suspected to be increasing owing to ongoing habitat modification and degradation, which favours the species.

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