441. Brachypodius poiocephalus

(441) Brachypodius poiocephalus (Jerdon).
Microtarsus poiocephalus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. i, p. 425.
This is another purely South-West Indian bird, restricted to the Malabar coast ; the Bombay Presidency from Belgaum Southwards throughout Travancore ; Coonoor and the Wynaad Hills from sea-level to about 2,000 feet.
The first person to take the nest and eggs of this Bulbul was Mr. J. Davidson in 1898, the following being his interesting note thereon (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xi, p. 660, 1898):—“Ionly once have found a nest, though I have no doubt a clutch brought to me belonged to this bird, but, as unauthenticated, they are of no value. The only nest I found was on the 16th March at Siddapur. I was assisting a boy to climb up to a nest of Eulabes when I noticed a small bird fly out of a small bamboo-bush behind, and in looking at the spot I saw a neat Bulbul’s nest ; it was, however, empty, and I determined to visit it in the evening of my last day at Siddapur. This happened to be on the 27th, but official duties kept me busy until almost sunset, and as I did not know what the bird was, and it might have been merely a rubbishy Otocompsa, I very nearly gave it up, arid actually tossed up a coin to see if I would take the trouble to go the half-mile walk from my camp to visit it. The result was that I did go, and on reaching the nest found it contained one egg which a glance showed me was an egg of a species new to me. I sat down at once to wait for the bird, and in five minutes a small bird lit on a branch near, then flew to the bamboo and seated herself on the nest. It saw me, however, in a moment, and flew over my head, alighting in a thick evergreen exactly between me and the pink of the vanished sun. With my gun to my shoulder I followed the movements among the leaves and, getting a glimpse of the bird, fired. I could not see the result, but a search on the ground below in the dark revealed a specimen of this bird. The nest was a neat cup outwardly composed of bark, bamboo and other leaves, and lined inside with moderately fine roots. It is a solid and shallow nest. It was in the fork of two or three branches in a low bamboo about a foot from the ground and surrounded by evergreen forest. The egg was long-shaped, of a pinkish-brown colour with a distinct cap of darker hue.”
Since then Bell has taken eggs in Kanara, of which he has kindly given me a pair, whilst I have also received a small series from Travancore, taken by Stewart. The nests taken by the latter were all built in low bushes, often thorny, in thick jungle at an eleva¬tion of about 2,000 feet. The nests were built in branches some 3 or 4 feet from the ground and each contained one egg only, in one case half incubated.
Davidson’s nest was taken in May, Bell took one in July, whilst Stewart took his in April and May.
In my small series the purple-brown stippled form is represented by one egg, all the others being very pale pink, tinged very faintly with violet in the ground-colour and lightly flecked and stippled with pale pinkish-red and with secondary frecklings of pinkish- lavender, more numerous at the larger end, where the lavender is sometimes the dominating colour.
Six eggs average 21.7 x 15.5 mm. : maxima 22.3 x 16.0 mm. ; minima 21.2 x 15.0 and 22.0 x 14.6 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 1. 1932.
Title in Book: 
441. Brachypodius poiocephalus
Spp Author: 
Oatesi sharpe.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Grey Headed Bulbul
Grey-headed Bulbul
Pycnonotus priocephalus
Vol. 1

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