Black-crested Bulbul    Pycnonotus (melanicterus) flaviventris

Etymology :

  • Pycnonotus : Greek word puknos thick, compact; notos –backed { thick backed}
  • Melanicterus: Greek word melas- black; ikteros -jaundice-yellow. { yellowish black}
  • Flaviventris: Latin word flavus-yellow; ventris- belly { Yellow Belly}

Distribution in India: Resident Himalayas and North East of India

Description: Size of 18·5–19·5 cm; Wt. of male 30–34g, female 28–31 g. It is a medium-sized, conspicuous bulbul with permanently erected recurved crest and squared long tail. The nominate race has head entirely glossy blue-black, bearing mid-crown tuft of elongated feathers forming recurved crest. The upperparts are dark golden olive-green, brighter on lower back and rump. The wings and tail is browner/dusky olive with bright golden-olive fringes. It is bright rich yellow below, suffused with olive on breast and flank. The iris is conspicuously creamy white or pale yellow; bill is black; legs are black, brownish-black or dark slate-grey. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile is paler overall, with sooty head and little or no crest, chin is black, throat is olive, and iris is pale grey.

Habitat: It is found in Open forest, mixed deciduous forest, abandoned clearings, tall hedgerows and orchards

Food Habits:  Feeds mainly on fruit, also small amount of insects. Fruit taken, and also fed to fledglings, includes small berries. They are known to feed on a wide range of berries including Celtis, Rosa, Melia and Ehretia in the Himalayas. They feed on the nectar of Salmalia, Erythrina, Rhododendron and other species. They make aerial sallies for insects.

Breeding Habits: The breeding season is April-July .The nest is a cup placed in a fork and made from grasses, dry leaves, mosses, lichens and cobwebs. The lining is made up of ferns, rootlets and other soft material. Both sexes participate in nest construction. Two or three eggs form the usual clutch. The eggs hatch after an- incubation period of 2 weeks and the chicks fledge after about 11 or 12 days.