Subfamily BRACHYPODINAE

The Brachypodinae or Bulbuls form a numerous and fairly well-defined group of birds, which attain their greatest development in Southern Asia. They are also, however, well represented in Africa.

In the Bulbuls the sexes are invariably alike in colour, and the young closely resemble the adult, the brighter colours being replaced for the first few weeks by paler tints of the same. All species are non-migratory. The eggs of all about the nidification of which anything is known are marked with various shades of red and purple.

The main feature of the Bulbuls is their short tarsus, which is never longer than the middle toe and claw together. This character is possessed by other birds in a few instances, but the Bulbuls may be further recognized by the presence of some hairs springing from the nape. These hairs are frequently very long, sometimes short and inconspicuous, but never, I think, entirely absent.

Many of the Bulbuls are familiar birds, frequenting gardens, and having pretty notes.

Key to the Genera.

a. Hairs springing from hind neck numerous and as long as tarsus or longer.
a1. Crest long and pointed……………….CRINIGER, p. 254.
b1. Crest absent or obsolete.
a2. Long hairs springing from the back……………….TRICHOLESTES, p. 257.
b2. No hairs springing from the back……………….ALOPHOIXUS, p. 259.
b. Hairs springing from hind neck few and short, or obsolete.
c. Feathers at sides of crown and over ear-coverts similar in shape to those on crown,
c2. A distinct crest.
a3. Nostrils not covered by plumelets.
a4. Wing pointed ; secondaries falling short of tip of wing by Length of tarsus or more.
a5. Tail forked; the outer feathers curved outwards……………….HYPSIPETES, p. 259.
b5. Tail square or rounded; the outer feathers straight.
a6. Longest crest-feathers shorter than tarsus and pointed……………….HEMIXUS, p. 263.
b6. Longest crest-feathers longer than tarsus and blunt……………….ALCURUS, p. 263.
b4. Wing blunt; the secondaries falling short of tip of wing by much less than Length of tarsus.
c5. Crest thick, springing from every portion of crown and nape.
c6. Tail very slightly rounded ; the outer feather falling short of tip of tail by a shorter
distance than Length of hind toe……………….MOLPASTES, p. 267.
d6. Tail generally rounded; the outer feather tailing short of tip of tail by about Length of tarsus……………….XANTHIXUS, p. 274.
d5. Crest confined to middle of crown only; feathers of nape quite short.
e6. Shafts of the feathers of the hack soft……………….OTOCOMPSA, p. 275.
f6. Shafts of the feathers of the back rigid and spinous……………….PINAROCICHLA, p. 279.
b3. Nostrils nearly concealed by plumelets……………….SPIZIXUS, p. 280.
d2. Crest inconspicuous or absent.
c3. Upper tail-coverts not reaching to the middle of the tail,
c4. Feathers of the forehead and crown very short and stiff……………….TRACHYCOMUS, p. 281.
d4. Feathers of the forehead and crown slightly Lengthened and soft.
e5. Bill larger, about three quarters Length of head; culmen laterally compressed and sharply carinated……………….IOLE, p. 282.
f5. Bill smaller, about half Length of head; culmen not much com¬pressed nor sharply carinated……………….PYCNONOTUS, p. 285.
d3. Upper tail-coverts reaching nearly to tip of tail……………….MICROPUS, p. 294.
d1. Feathers at sides of crown and over ear-coverts long and pointed, contrasting with the rounded feathers of the crown……………….KELAARTIA, p. 296.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.1 1889.
Title in Book: 
Subfamily BRACHYPODINAE
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1889
Page No: 
251
Volume: 
Vol. 1
id: 
366

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