Shelleys greenbul

Pycnonotus masukuensis

TAXONOMY

Pycnonotus masukuensis Shelley, 1897, Masuku Range, east-central Africa. Species level taxonomy unclear. Two groups of subspecies recognized: gray-headed western group and green-headed nominate group.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Shelley's bulbul; French: Bulbul des Monts Masukus; German: Shelleybulbul; Spanish: Bulbul de Shelley.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.3 in (16 cm); 0.9-1.1 oz (27-31 g). Bright green upperparts, underparts dull olive. Head and neck variable; gray, olive-gray, or olive. Pale eye-ring. Sexes alike. Juvenile resembles adult, but olive parts deeper colored, upperparts duller.

DISTRIBUTION

Endemic resident of middle elevation highlands in east-central Africa. Eastern Zaire to Uganda, Rwanda, western Kenya, eastern Tanzania into Malawi.

HABITAT

Montane rainforest, riverside scrub.

BEHAVIOR

Typically found singly or in pairs, may forage in larger groups. Unusually silent for a bulbul, has soft song of "chip, wa-da-tee, chee-tu, ti-wew." Nonmigratory.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Eats berries and insects. Often uses "treecreeper" foraging method, whereby it starts at the base of a tree looking for insects, works its way up the tree in short hops for 18-30 ft (6-10 m), then flies to base of next tree and starts again.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Not well known. Nest a strong, shallow cup; lays one or two pinkish, spotted eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Fairly common to locally abundant.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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