Sunday, July 10, 2011

Red whiskered Bulbul and its Nest

Photographing birds at nest with chicks or eggs besides them is a very challenging and a delicate task. You have to be very careful about the surroundings and leave no clue to the predators about the nestIf at all  you have any doubt about the impact of your presences near the nest, leave them alone and move away from the nest site.  
Always it is better to follow the rules of nature, while interacting with birds or animals.

1. Do not wear bright colored dresses, as it is a sign of distraction to animals and birds.
2. It is better to wear dull colored dresses when you venture out in the wild. Colors like bottle green, and many shades of green that blends with the environment is a perfect choice.
3.Do not make any sound in the wilderness.

Code of Conduct for Photographing Birds  

  1. The object is to take photographs of birds without upsetting their normal pattern of behaviour.  The well-being of the bird should, at all times, take precedence over photography
  2. It should be noted that disturbance of breeding birds at or near their nest is an offence except under a license issued for N.I. by the Department of the Environment or the relevant authority elsewhere.
  3. The use of a hide to photograph birds at the nest should only be attempted after experience has been gained of the difficulties involved.   N.B.  Siting and erection of the hide should be in stages and, if the bird does not return to the nest within a reasonable period, having regard to weather and temperature, the hide should be removed
  4. Visits to the nest should be as few and as short a duration as possible.  Exposure of the nest, which should not include permanent change, may cause danger from predators and the weather.  After each session the nest site should be returned to its original condition.  Any cords used to tie back foliage or grass should be removed
  5. Nest photographers should be accompanied to the hide by at least one other person and should on no account emerge from the hide except in the  immediate presence of another person.
  6. Nests to be used for photography should be chosen so that the hide will not attract attention which might cause disturbance to the breeding birds
  7. The hide should be removed and the nest site concealed immediately after all photography has been completed.
  8. The use of 300mm lenses, or longer, is recommended for nest photography so that too close an  approach to breeding birds is avoided
  9. Movement and noise should be kept to a minimum to avoid disturbance.
  10. Photographers should observe the practice of obtaining permission from the landowners before entering private property.
Last week , we (Goutham, Satish[chikappa] and Myself) had been to a place near Kanakapura. There we could see, a Red whiskered Bulbul . This was along the roadside itsellf, and with deep observation we could spot the nest. The nest contained 3 chicks. Those chicks were very cute.

Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) is a passerine bird found in Asia. It is a member of the bulbul family. It is a resident frugivorefound mainly in tropical Asia. It has been introduced in many tropical areas of the world where populations have established themselves. It feeds on fruits and small insects and they conspicuously perch on trees and their calls are a loud three or four note call. The distinctive crest and the red-vent and whiskers makes them easy to identify. They are very common in hill forests and urban gardens within its range.

The Red-whiskered Bulbul was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in 1758 in his Systema Naturae. He placed it along with the shrikes under Lanius.

Local names include Turaha pigli-pitta in TeluguSipahi bulbul in Bengali, and Phari-bulbul or Kanera bulbu in Hindi.


The populations found across their range show a range of plumage variations and some of these are recognized as subspecies:
  • jocosus, the nominate subspecies, is found in Hong Kong
  • fuscicaudatus in peninsular India has nearly complete breast band and no white tip to tail
  • abuensis of northwestern India is pale and has a broken breast band and no white tip to tail
  • pyrrhotis of the terai is pale above with white tail tips and widely separated breast band
  • emeria of Eastern peninsula and Ganges Delta is warm brown above with a slim bill and a long crest (also introduced into Florida)
  • whistleri is found in the Andaman Islands and has a warm brown above, a heavier bill and a shorter crest than emeria
  • monticola is found in northeastern India and has darker upperparts than pyrrhotis
  • pattani is found in Thailand
  • peguensis not always recognized was described from southern Burma
The Red-whiskered Bulbul is about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length. It has brown upper-parts and whitish underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. It has a tall pointed black crest, red face patch and thin black moustachial line. The tail is long and brown with white terminal feather tips, but the vent area is red.
The loud and evocative call is a sharp kink-a-joo (also transcribed as pettigrew or kick-pettigrew or pleased to meet you) and the song is a scolding chatter. It is more often heard than seen, but will often perch conspicuously especially in the mornings when they call from the tops of trees. The life span is about 11 years.
Hybrids have been noted in captivity with Pycnonotus caferPycnonotus leucotisPycnonotus xanthopygosPycnonotus melanicterus andPycnonotus leucogenys and leucism has been recorded. Several avian malaria parasites have been described from the species

Other types of Bulbuls in India:
Pycnonotidae - Bulbuls, finchbills

White-throated Bulbul (Alophoixus flaveolus) - local resident
Ashy Bulbul (Hemixos flavala) - local resident
Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) - widespread resident
Mountain Bulbul (Hypsipetes mcclellandii) - local resident
Nicobar Bulbul (Hypsipetes nicobariensis) - local resident
Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica) - local resident
Olive Bulbul (Iole virescens) - local resident
Black-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus atriceps) - local resident
Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) - widespread resident
Flavescent Bulbul (Pycnonotus flavescens) - local resident
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) - widespread resident
White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis) - widespread resident
Himalayan Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys) - local resident
White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus) - widespread resident
Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus melanicterus) - widespread resident
Grey-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus) - local resident
Striated Bulbul (Pycnonotus striatus) - local resident
Yellow-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus xantholaemus) - widespread resident
Crested Finchbill (Spizixos canifrons) - local resident


  1. Nice Haarith, very helpful for me. And Very useful info. It might help me in the future during photography.

  2. Lovely images Arjun. I like that you are interested to take pictures as well as give a report of the place. That too immediately. That is a good sign of an young learner . Keep up the good work. Your pictures are improving very much.

  3. Very nice informative blog for all amateur nature photographers,also good images to accompany the write up.Hope this blog reaches many.


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