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Bulbuls: Pycnonotidae - Common Bulbul (pycnonotus Barbatus): Species Accounts

eggs female white bird

Physical characteristics: The common bulbul is normally 3.6 to 4.2 inches (9.1 to 11 centimeters), and can weigh from 0.8 to 2.1 ounces (23 to 60 grams). They tend to be the size of thrushes with a dark crest on the head, dark eye-ring, and a black bill. Upperparts tend to be grayish brown, with a similarly colored breast, a white belly, and a white or yellow undertail. Both sexes are similar in appearance, though the female is slightly smaller. Young birds are duller in color than adults, and have rusty tones.


Geographic range: The common bulbul can be found in Africa south of 20° north latitude, except in the dry southwestern regions of the continent and near the Cape of Good Hope on Africa's southern tip.


Habitat: The common bulbul thrives in wooded or bush areas, especially those near water.


Diet: Common bulbuls are omnivores, eating various wild and cultivated fruits, flowers, termites, and other insects, in addition to small lizards.


Behavior and reproduction: The common bulbul is monogamous and has been observed to mate for life. Birds pair through a preening ceremony and duet singing. Two to five eggs are laid in a shallow, thin, cup-like nest in a bush or shrub, and the bird lays eggs twice in a season. The incubation period is twelve to fourteen days, most often with only the female sitting on the eggs. Young are cared for by both parents.


Common bulbuls and people: The common bulbul has no particular significance to humans.


Conservation status: This species is not threatened and is plentiful over a wide area. The common bulbul is Kenya's most common bird. ∎

Bulbuls: Pycnonotidae - Leaf-love (phyllastrephus Scandens): Species Accounts [next] [back] Bulbuls: Pycnonotidae - Conservation Status

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