Icterine greenbul

Phyllastrephus icterinus

TAXONOMY

Trichophorus icterinus Bonaparte, 1850, Guinea.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Lesser icterine bulbul; French: Bulbul icterin; German: Zeisigbulbul; Spanish: Bulbul Icterino.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.9 in (15 cm); 0.5-0.8 oz (15-25 g). Top of head and upper-parts olive green, uppertail rusty, rump feathers long and fluffy. Chin and throat sulfur yellow, breast and belly yellow washed with green. Reddish tail. Sexes alike. Juvenile resembles adult but upperparts greener and washed brownish breast and throat.

DISTRIBUTION

Endemic east central Africa; Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, and Zaire.

HABITAT

Forest, including patchy and swampy areas, plantations.

BEHAVIOR

Moves in family parties of three to five, up to 12. Group stays together by using nasal call. Group will defend territory and fight with other groups if confrontation occurs. Call a repeated "gur-guk," or nasal "gur-gur-gaaa." Will mob potential predators such as owls.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mainly eats insects; often forages in mixed species flocks. Follows small mammals such as squirrels and antelopes, catching insects flushed out by mammals.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Territorial and monogamous, pairs staying together for several years. Nest a small cup of dry leaves held together by the fungus Marasmius, slung like a hammock in fork of branch. Usu ally two eggs, incubation 14 days, by female only. When surprised on nest, female will fall to ground and run to distract predator. Both parents feed young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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