Straw-headed Bulbul – contact calls?

posted in: Videography, Vocalisation | 0

“[On 26th November 2012], heard some loud chattering, clicking & bubbling calls at Hindhede Park today. They sounded like the loud laughing calls of the White-crested Laughingthrush (Garrulax leucolopus) at first, but slightly different. I decided to record the calls – unfortunately they are rather faint, but they are all the audible calls in the clip (above).

“As I rounded a bend after the short recording, I saw 3 Straw-headed Bulbuls (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) next to each other along a footpath, seemingly at play. They were the ones making the calls, which were not the usual loud bubbly songs these bulbuls are famous for. So I guess these are their contact calls. The 3 birds stopped calling the moment they saw me, but hung around long enough for me to take this video (above). Sorry the focus is rather off – too excited to capture the birds at close range to focus properly first!

“For the sake of comparison, here’s a melodious duetting couple which I previously recorded… LINK.

“I paid Hindhede Park another visit [on 4th December], and was immediately greeted by loud melodious calls of a pair of strawheads.

“Here are some recorded calls by way of video clips :

1. Usual melodic call:

2. As I approached, wariness took over, and the call changed slightly with intermittent churring, maybe a contact call?

3. The birds then dived into low vegetation, and went into a long series of excited clicking which lasted a few minutes, probably alarm calls?”

Lena Chow
26th November/4th December 2012

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