Strawheaded bulbul

Pycnonotus zeylanicus

TAXONOMY

Pycnonotus zeylanicus Gmelin, 1789. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Straw-crowned bulbul; French: Bulbul a tête jaune; German: Gelbscheitelbülbül; Spanish: Bulbul Bigotudo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

11.5 in (29 cm). Large bulbul with orange-yellow crown and cheek, white throat lined with black on top, and large bill. Whitish belly and orange rump, olive-green back and wings. Sexes alike. Juvenile duller with brownish head.

DISTRIBUTION

Sundaic range; Myanmar and Thailand through Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo.

HABITAT

Secondary forest and edge, near water, disturbed areas. BEHAVIOR

Found in pairs or family groups up to six birds. Have large territories designated by singing duets (male and female alternating). Very vocal, especially at dawn and dusk. Song a strong, clear, melodious warble.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mixed diet of insects, snails, fruits, and berries.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Little known, may breed year round. Nests of plant material often on boughs overhanging water. Both adults incubate eggs and care for young. Fledge 16 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable. Listed on Appendix II of CITES. Highly prized caged birds; poaching and trapping has led to dramatic population declines and local extinction, habitat loss also a problem. Habitat preservation offers some protection, but capture and trade still permitted in some areas.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Prized songbird worldwide. Known as maki boyah or "alligator bird" from its supposed habit of annoying "alligators," and extending as far up the river crocodiles do. ♦

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