(433) Pycnonotus luteolus.
THE WHITE-BROWED BULBUL,.
Haematornis luteolus Less., Rev. ZooL, 1840, p. 354(India, Bombay). Pycnonotus luteolus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 290.
Vernacular names. Poda-pigli (Tel.); Guluguluwa (Ceylon).
Description. Upper plumage dull olive-green, tinged with ashy on the head and with fulvous on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; wings and tail brown, washed with green on the outer webs of the feathers ; front of forehead, a broad streak from the nostril over the eye and partly over the ear-coverts and an indistinct ring round the eye, white; lores mingled black and white; a stripe from the base of the lower mandible and the point of the chin yellow ; lower plumage ashy, tinged and faintly striped with pale yellow, the breast washed with brown; vent and under tail-coverts pale yellow; under wing-coverts and edge of wing yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris blood-red; bill blackish or horny-black ; legs dark plumbeous.
Measurements. Length about 200 mm.; wing 72 to 89 mm.; tail about 80 to 85 mm.; tarsus about 22 mm.; culmen 15 to 17 mm.
Ceylon birds are certainly smaller than those from India; the wings run from 72 to 83, rarely to 85 mm., those from Travancore northwards measure from 85 to 89 mm. I pan see no corresponding variation in colour and as they overlap in measurements, these alone seem hardly well-defined enough to constitute a separate subspecies.
Distribution. The Peninsula of India, from Baroda on the "West and Midnapore on the East down to Cape Comorin; Ceylon. Rare or absent on the Deccan table-land and throughout the Central Provinces,
Nidification. This bird breeds very commonly in Ceylon, the West coast of South India and again in West Bengal and parts of Orissa. The nest is not, I think, distinguishable from that of Otocompsa but is on the average more untidy, flimsy and unfinished. The sites selected are low, thick bushes in scrub-jungle, the outskirts of forest and partly cultivated country and the nest is seldom more than 4 feet from the ground. Hume says the eggs are unlike those of Molpastes or Otocompsa. Whilst, however, richly marked, handsome eggs such as are so often obtained of Molpastes are very rare in this species, the eggs as a series are like weakly marked, rather long-shaped eggs of that bird. Normally only two eggs are laid, sometimes three, and the average of sixty eggs is 22.9 x 15.8 mm., the extremes being 25.5 X15.6, 24.6 x 17.0,19.0 x 15.6 and 23.8 x 15.0 mm.
The birds lay in almost every month of the year in Ceylon but chiefly in February and March, whilst in Bombay they lay from April to July.
Habits. The White-browed Bulbul is a bird neither of actual forest nor of compounds and gardens. It prefers scrub- and bush-jungle, thin rather than dense, the outskirts of forest and country which is partly cultivated and partly wooded. It does not enter gardens but may be seen in the vicinity of villages. It is found only in the plains and lower hills.
The birds of this species are spread over a very wide area through East and South Burma, the Malay Peninsula and many of the islands and again East through Siam, Yunnan, Annam, etc. There are three races separable but they do not occupy very well-defined areas and it is not easy to say exactly where P. p. blanfordi and P. p. plumosus meet. Between P. p. robinsoni and P.p. plumosus I cannot fix anything definite but throughout the Northern Peninsula they probably represent Eastern and Western races. They may eventually have to be treated as species.
Key to Subspecies.
A.Ear-coverts brown with silvery-white stripes. P. plumosus plumosus,
B.Ear-coverts entirely silvery-white. [p. 419,
a. Paler both above and below P. p. blanfordi, p. 420.
b. Darker both above and below P. p. robinsoni, p. 420.