“On the afternoon of 26th June 2014, a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) was perched high up a mature fig tree and fastidiously preening itself (above). From this vantage point, its sulphur-yellow vent feathers could be admired in all its splendour.

“A video clip of this preening activity may be previewed above.

“In between preening, there was a brief pause to answer nature’s call. This was preceded by the raising of its tail, lowering of its belly feathers, and dilation of the cloacal rim (above). The discharged item appeared to be the seed of some fruit, perhaps a mistletoe? Immediately after defaecation, the bulbul inserted the tip of its beak into the cloaca, as if to make a quick and clean swipe of its posterior.”

“A video clip of this defaecation process in slow motion may be previewed above.”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
5th July 2014

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