Yellow-vented Bulbul, a fascinating bird

on 29th January 2017

Most birdwatchers as well as photographers ignore the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) as this is a common species. Jeremy Lee is an exception, as shown below…

BulbulYV-GoldenPenda [wyc] - 5 (1)

“I have spent countless hours as a kid and adult observing this facinating bird, the Yellow-vented Bulbul (above). Starting from myths that this bird will commit suicide if trapped and caged to rescuing one from a window strike, to finally raising chicks.

“Their congregating behaviour after thunderstorms still fascinate me. They make a very different call on such occasions, almost as if they are celebrating the event.

BulbulRW-dischidia [wyc] - 6

“More recently, their shared congregating behavior with the Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) (above) was also something new to me. The songbird trade has also seen cross-breeds between the two with offspring that cater to hobbyists.

“A truly fascinating bird indeed.”

Jeremy Lee
18th October 2015

Note: Images by YC Wee.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

One Response

  1. Apart from the Straw Headed Bulbul, i know of no commercial breeding or cross-breeding of other Bulbul species. What may appear to be hybrids of the Yellow-Vented Bulbul and the Red-Whiskered Bulbul are actually two other distinct species, which are frequently imported for the songbird trade. These are the Red-Vented Bulbul, and the White-Eared Bulbul. Both of them are native to continental Asia. The latter especially can be mistaken for a hybrid, since it has the markings of the Red-Whiskered Bulbul but has the profile and body shape of the Yellow-Vented.

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