Saturday, 18 February 2012

Grey-headed bulbul

Pycnonotus priocephalus

Photo by Ramki Sreenivasan (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
grey-headed bulbul (en); tuta-de-cabeça-cinzenta (pt); bulbul colombar (fr); bulbul de cabeza gris (es); graukopfbülbül (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

This species is endemic to south-west India, being found in the Western Ghats and Palni Hills, between Goa and Tamil Nadu.

These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 14-19 g.

Grey-headed bulbuls are mostly found in moist broadleaved forests with dense undergrowth and bamboo stands. During the breeding season they are generally restricted to altitudes of 700-1.400 m, while outside the breeding season they move down to lower altitudes.

They mostly eat berries and fruits, but also take a some insects.

Grey-headed bulbuls breed in January-May. The nest is a platform made of vines, grasses, moss and green leaves, placed in a bamboo stand, 0,5-5 m above the ground. There the female lays 1-2 eggs which are incubated for 12-14 days. The chicks fledge 11-13 days after hatching.

IUCN status - NT (Near-threatened)
This species has a restricted breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the population is thought to occur at low densities in suitable habitat which is patchily distributed throughout its range. The population is believed to be undergoing a moderately rapid decline, caused by habitat loss and degradation as forest are converted into plantations, reservoirs, crops and human settlements. Only 20% of the natural forest vegetation of the Western Ghats remains intact, and it is highly fragmented. Extensive extraction of bamboos is also an important factor causing population decline.

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