Blackcollared bulbul

Neolestes torquatus

TAXONOMY

Neolestes torquatus Cabanis, 1875, Chinchoxo, Loango Coast. Taxonomy controversial, some morphological characters ally Neolestes with bulbuls, some ally it with shrikes (Malaconotidae, Laniidae, or Prionopidae). DNA and behavioral data suggest a closer relationship to bulbuls.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Bulbul a collier noir; German: Ruttelbulbul; Spanish: Bulbul de Collar Negro.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.3 in (16 cm), 0.7-1 oz (19-27 g). Distinctive, forehead to hindneck gray, black mask continues down neck to form a broad black band across the white breast. Back and tail olive-greenish brown, wings with yellow stripe. Sexes alike. Juvenile resembles adult but duller, crown and neck greenish.

DISTRIBUTION

South central Africa, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Zambia, and Zaire. HABITAT

Wooded savanna, grassland. BEHAVIOR

Territorial. Found singly, in pairs, or in small groups of three to four birds, will perch on fence posts. Fluid song of "tji-li-li" and "dee-de-de-de-de." Resident.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mainly eats insects and fruit, often foraging in tall grasses.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Solitary nester with some distance between territories (out of range of song). Two eggs laid in untidy nest; young fed by both parents, mainly fruit. Feigns injury to distract predators from nest.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Locally common, though distribution spotty.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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