Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The pic taken at Jim Corbett National Park, Dehradun, Uttaranchal, India: The Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) is a passerine bird found in Asia. It is a member of the bulbul family. It is a resident frugivore found mainly in tropical Asia from Pakistan and India through to southeast Asia and China. It has been introduced and has established itself in the wild in many other parts of the world.
Local names include Turaha pigli-pitta in Telugu, Sipahi bulbul in Bengali,
Phari-bulbul/Kanera bulbu in Hindi Several geographic races are named
The Red-whiskered Bulbul is about 20 cm (7 in) in length. It has brown upper-parts and whitish underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. It has a tall pointed black crest, red face patch and thin black moustachial line. The tail is long and brown with white terminal feather tips, but the vent area is red.
This passerine feed on fruits (including those of Thevetia peruvianathat are toxic to mammals), nectar and insects. The loud and evocative call is a sharp kink-a-joo, and the song is a scolding chatter. It is more often heard than seen, but will often perch conspicuously especially in the mornings when they call from the tops of trees. The life span is about 11 years.
Hybrids have been noted in captivity with Pycnonotus cafer, Pycnonotus leucotis, Pycnonotus xanthopygos, Pycnonotus melanicterus and Pycnonotus leucogenys. and albinism is known. several avian malaria parasites have been described from the species
- jocosus, the nominate subspecies, is found in Hong Kong
- fuscicaudatus in peninsular India has nearly complete breast band and no white tip to tail
- abuensis of northwestern India is pale and has a broken breast band and no white tip to tail
- pyrrhotis of the terai is pale above with white tail tips and widely separated breast band
emeria of Eastern peninsula and Ganges Delta is warm brown above with a slim bill and a long crest (also introduced into Florida
- whistleri is found in the Andaman Islands
- monticola is found in northeastern India
- pattani is found in Thailand
- peguensis not always recognized was described from southern Burma
Distribution and habitat
This is a bird of lightly wooded areas, more open country with bushes and shrubs, and farmland. Irruptions have been noted from early times with Thomas C. Jerdon noting that they "periodically visiting Madras and other wooded towns in large flocks."
It has established itself in Australia, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Florida in the United States, and in the Mauritius, Assumption Island and Mascarene Islands.
The Red-whiskered Bulbul was introduced by the Zoological and Acclimatization Society in 1880 to Sydney, and were well established across the suburbs by 1920, and have slowly spread to around 100 km away. It is also found in suburban Melbourne and Adelaide, although it is unclear how it got there.