Four species of bulbuls have been documented feeding on the Macaranga bancana tree in the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia by Dato’ Dr Amar-Sing HSS on late October 2009.
Red-eyed Bulbul (Pycnonotus brunneus) – very common, with large numbers of adults, often in pairs, visiting the tree. This is a common resident in Peninsular Malaysia but a rare resident in Singapore.
Cream-vented Bulbul (P. simplex simplex) — a few observed. Another common resident in Peninsular Malaysia but an uncommon resident in Singapore.
Spectacled Bulbul (P. erythropthalmos) – a few observed. Again common in Peninsular Malaysian but locally extinct in Singapore. Wells (2007) reports it exploits Macaranga spp., besides figs.
Hairy-backed Bulbul (Tricholestes criniger criniger) – a pair was seen. Also relatively common in Peninsular Malaysia but not found in Singapore. Wells (2007) lists it as Near-threatened, bordering on Vulnerable locally. Notice the grey-brown iris shown well in the light in this adult. A fairly distinctive bulbul due to the pale yellow around the eye.
There was only one tree fruiting, the rest were not even flowering.
It is interesting that except for Spectacled Bulbul, there are no reports of the other three species exploiting the fruits of this tree.
Images on left by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS, from top to bottom as follows: Red-eyed Bulbul, Cream-vented Bulbul, Spectacled Bulbul and Hairy-backed Bulbul.
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia
21-24th October 2009
Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.