443. Kelaartia penicillata

(443) Kelaartia penicillata.

The Yellow-eared Bulbul.

Pycnonotus penicillatus Blyth, J. A. S. B., xx, p. 178 (1851) (Ceylon). Kelaartia penicillata Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 297.

Vernacular names. None recorded.

Description. Forehead and crown dark brown or blackish, each feather very narrowly edged with ashy ; a narrow white line from the nostril to the upper part of the eye and a broad yellow streak from that point to the nape; chin and upper part of cheeks white; lores, ear-coverts and lower part of cheeks black, the ear-coverts with a streak of yellow down the middle; a large slaty-blue spot on the neck next the ear-coverts; upper plumage olive-green; wings and tail dark brown, the outer webs of the feathers washed with olive-green; the whole lower plumage, except the chin, deep yellow, washed with olive on the breast and flanks; under wing-coverts and edge of wing yellow.

Colours of soft parts. Iris bright red, reddish brown or carmine; bill black; legs and feet dark plumbeous or dark bluish plumbeous.

Measurements. Length about 190 mm.; wing 80 to 85 mm.; tail about the same; tarsus about 20 mm.; culmen about 15 mm.

Distribution. Ceylon only.

Nidification. This bird breeds in March and April, perhaps also in other months, between the foot-hills and about 4,000 feet. It makes a cup-shaped nest, rather shallow and flimsy, of dead leaves, twigs and grass, which it suspends between a vertical fork of an outer branch of some small sapling or high bush in the forest. The eggs, which are always two in number, are like richly-coloured eggs of Iole icterica, that is to say the ground-colour is pale pink and they are profusely covered all over with tiny longitudinal specks of pale pinkish red with a few underlying ones of pale lavender. Six eggs measure 22.3 x 16.8; 21.8 x 17.0; 24.2 x 16.7; 23.6x16.3; 24.0x16.1; 23.2x16.0 mm.

Habits. The Yellow-eared Bulbul is found principally in forests, ascending as high as 7,000 feet but being most numerous between 2,000 and 4,000 feet. According to Legge it keeps to low jungle and underwood rather than to the higher trees, is restless and shy, yet inquisitive and has a note which he describes as " whee whee, whee," quickly repeated. It is more a fruit- and seed-eater than insectivorous but indulges sometimes in the latter diet.

The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.1 1922.
Title in Book: 
443. Kelaartia penicillata
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Yellow Eared Bulbul
Yellow-eared Bulbul
Pycnonotus penicillatus
Vol. 1

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