First of all, a very happy and warm new year wishes to all my bengali and punjabi friends( I belong to both the communities :D) May your life gets better each year. And for me,may this year brings more and more opportunities for photographing the most beautiful creations of God i.e. birds.
In my last week’s post, I have started a series on “About the bird” with my very first post on White throated kingfisher. If you haven’t read it yet, HERE’s the LINK.
So today’s post is on yet another one of the most beautiful yet common bird in India and outside.
Before we start, I want to share a little, very little, happiness of mine. There is a non profit organization called “Wild bird Trust” who runs a blog on behalf of National Geographic and shares “Top 25 birds of the week” ever week depending on the theme of that particular week. So last week’s theme was “The birds that were saved by MBTA (Migratory birds Treaty Act-1918)” and one of my images was selected in this week’s Top 25 birds. The selected image is of ‘Little Stint‘ that I clicked in Carambolim lake in Goa on 31st of march 2018. Have a look.
Feel free to have a look at the Top 25 birds by National Geographic for the 2nd week of April 2018. -> https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2018/04/13/top-25-mbta/
By now, you all must be knowing that I use my nick name ‘Riya Roy Pahuja’ as an alias for my photographs.
NOW, lets get back to business 😉 Today’s lesson.
Red Whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)
Red Whiskered bulbul or crested bulbul (Scientific name – Pycnonotus jocosus) is a passerine bird found in Asia and one of the most common in bulbul (Pycnonotidae) family in western ghats (where I live). I can say this because I meet them every morning 🙂
Bulbul family has around 150 species ,out of which a very few are residents of India. Red whiskered bulbul sized around 20cm in length and considered as a medium sized bird. Not easily recognized from a very far distance but quite easily distinguishable from a little closer.
Unlike Yellow throated bulbul, which is the state bird of Goa, Red whiskered bulbuls have a beautiful black crown on their head and red face patch makes the beautiful cherry cheeks with white patch on lower ear-coverts bordered below by black moustachial stripe.
The upper body parts are almost brown with white under parts with a dark patch running onto the breast at shoulder level. They have not-so-curvy beaks, long tails (with terminal feather tips )and sharp feet that rolls around the tree branches making it easier for them to perch on almost everywhere and anywhere.
They live for around 11 years. But they make sure they are heard till they die. Their very distinctive 3-4 note call “kink-a-joo” can be heard almost all the time when there is a red whiskered bulbul nearby. Their call has been described as “nice to meet you” at some places and their song is called the scolding chatter.
They are mostly seen in groups of 2-4 and love to sit on the top of tree branches and call loud in the mornings(sometimes with other bulbul species too). They love to fly and change perch frequently but seems like never wanting to break the bond.
Red whiskered bulbuls feed on fruits, flower nectars and insects.
This active species resides in lightly wooded areas, open forest, gardens, orchards, bushes around villages and cultivation. This particular bulbul is known to be a famous cage bird ( 😥 ) in south east Asia, once in India too ,but thankfully not any more.
[ My personal view : I don’t support caging of birds as they belong to wild and had been created by nature in such a way that they can adjust with the wildness of their habitat. Human interference only disturbs them. ]
They breed once or twice in a year. Season includes december to may in southern India and march to october in northern India. Males usually bow their head, spread the tail and droop their wings as courtship display.
I often get chance to photograph these little beauties and I call them my friends/sisters as I see them having their breakfast and singing. My husband has started calling me ‘bulbul ‘ so you may understand the relationship between bulbuls and I 😀
While they fly, they display their white under parts and shades of brown and white through their wings. Currently they are my alarm clock. I love to wake up with their songs 🙂
My gear- CANON + SIGMA
So this is it for today’s birding session nature loving people. I hope you have gained some knowledge as I did while documenting all about Red Whiskered bulbul. I will see you all on next birding session. Till then happy birding. Be blessed.