The white-browed bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus) is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is a resident breeder in Sri Lanka and peninsular India. Largely olive coloured above with whitish underparts, it has a pale supercilium and a yellow vent. They are found in dense scrub habitats, where they skulk within vegetation and can be difficult to see although their loud and distinct burst of calls is distinctive.

White-browed bulbul
P. l. luteolus
Maharashtra, India
P. l. insulae, Sri Lanka
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
P. luteolus
Binomial name
Pycnonotus luteolus
(Lesson, 1841)
  • Haematornis luteolus

Taxonomy and systematics edit

Subspecies edit

Two subspecies are recognized:[2]

  • P. l. luteolus - (Lesson, 1841): Found in central and southern India
  • P. l. insulae - Whistler & Kinnear, 1932: Found in Sri Lanka

Description edit

The white-browed bulbul is about 20 cm (7.9 in) long, with a moderately long (8 centimetres or 3 inches) tail. It has olive-grey upperparts and whitish underparts. This species is identifiable by the white supercilium, white crescent below the eye, and dark eyestripe and moustachial stripe. The vent is yellowish and there is some yellow on the chin and moustache. The throat is, however, largely whitish unlike in the similar looking and sounding yellow-throated bulbul, which is found in rockier habitats. Three or four hair-like filoplumes are present on the nape. Sexes are similar in plumage. It is usually detected by the burst of song that it produces from the top of a bush and often dives into the bush becoming difficult to see. The song is a rich, spluttering warble and the bird is more often heard than seen. P. l. insulae is slightly darker and has a shorter wing than the nominate race.[3][4][5][6][7]

Distribution and habitat edit

This species is endemic to southern India and Sri Lanka. The northern boundary occurs across Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and western West Bengal (near Midnapur[8]). It is found in dry open scrub country mainly on the plains and also occurs in gardens and woodlands with dense shrubbery.[4]

Behaviour and ecology edit

A pair in a cashew tree (Goa, India)
Song recorded at Bangalore, India

White-browed bulbuls are usually seen singly or in pairs. They forage within bushes for fruit, nectar and insects. The breeding season is spread out from March to September and they may possibly breed twice a year. Peaks in breeding occur in February and again in September. The dry season of May to July appears to be avoided for breeding in the Point Calimere region. They build a nest, a loose cup made of twigs, cobwebs and hair placed low in a thick bush and usually on the periphery. Two eggs form the typical clutch.[4][7] Individuals may live for more than 11 years.[4][9][10]

References edit

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Pycnonotus luteolus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22712728A94345997. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22712728A94345997.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Bulbuls « IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  3. ^ Rasmussen PC & JC Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions. p. 341.
  4. ^ a b c d Ali, S & SD Ripley (1996). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Volume 6 (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. pp. 98–100.
  5. ^ Whistler, H (1949). Popular handbook of Indian birds (4th ed.). London: Gurney and Jackon. pp. 76–77.
  6. ^ Oates, EW (1889). Fauna of British India. Birds. Volume 1. London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 290–291.
  7. ^ a b Baker, EC Stuart (1922). Fauna of British India. Birds. Volume 1 (2nd ed.). London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 417–418.
  8. ^ Law, SC (1936). "Extension of the range of the White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus Less.)". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 38 (3): 620–621.
  9. ^ Vijayan, VS (1978). "Breeding biology of Bulbuls, Pycnonotus cafer and Pycnonotus luteolus (Class: Aves, Family: Pycnonotidae) with special reference to their ecological isolation". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 75: 1090–1117.
  10. ^ Hume, AO (1889). The nests and eggs of Indian Birds. Volume 1 (2nd ed.). London: R. H. Porter. pp. 189–190.

Other sources edit

  • Vijayan, VS. (1975) Ecological isolation of bulbuls (Family Pycnonotidae, Class Aves) with special reference to Pycnonotus cafer cafer (Linn.) and Pycnonotus luteolus luteolus (Lesson) at Point Calimere, Tamil Nadu. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Bombay, Bombay.