Mountain Bulbul    Ixos mcclellandii


  • Ixos : genus bulbul , also mistletoe
  • Mcclellandii : Named after British John MacClelland (1805–1875)

Vernacular Names: Cachar: Dao-bulip-gadeba, Lepcha: Chinchiok-pho, Chichiam

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas and North east India

Description: Size of 21–24 cm; wt. of 27–41 g. It is a large, noisy, conspicuous bulbul with long slim bill, large square tail, bright olive above, with strong chestnut tone on underparts, elongated crown feathers frequently raised into a frizzy, expressive crest, elongated throat feathers often puffed out. The nominate race has deep chestnut-brown crown with fine white shafts ,lores are dark ashy grey, rest of face slightly paler ashy grey, becoming ashy brown on forepart of ear-coverts; rear ear-coverts and side of neck are light rufous-brown. The upperparts are bright olive-green, tertials and inner secondaries are similar except outer webs are edged even brighter. The primaries and secondaries have sooty black inner webs, and bright, yellow-tinged olive-green outer webs .The tail is olive-green, a shade darker than upperwing-coverts, with shafts deep brown above, yellow-white below. The chin and throat are greyish with prominent white shaft streaks; breast strongly tinged dull rusty, especially at side, with thin white shaft lines, upper flanks are olive, belly is creamy buff with ashy fringing, undertail-coverts are yellowish. The iris is light reddish-brown to dark rich crimson, eyelids are edged red; upper mandible is dark horn-brown, lower mandible is pale grey or pinkish-grey, sometimes darker at tip; legs are pale pinkish-brown to light purplish-brown, soles are chrome-yellow. Both the sexes are alike. The juvenile is browner above, with duller, browner wings, has plain pale greyish throat, shorter, less shaggy crest, weaker streaking on crown and breast, cinnamon-tinged vent, plain brown or brownish-grey iris.

Habitat: It is found in canopy of broadleaf evergreen forest, oak forest, rhododendron forest and pine forest. It is found from 800 to 2700m.

Food Habits: It feeds on fruit and insects, possibly also nectar. It eats many berries and other small fruits. It is found more in treetops, but also drops to low fruiting bushes to feed. The fruits often are plucked during hovering sally. It regularly sallies from prominent perches to catch insects in flight; also snatching trapped insects from spider webs. It is shy, tame and sluggish.

Breeding Habits: They breed in May–Aug in North East India, Feb–Aug in North Thailand and Mar–Sept in Peninsular Malaysia. The nest is placed above ground, but often much lower down in undergrowth at forest edge, usually slung from the rim between thin twigs of horizontal fork near edge of tree or bush, or sometimes bamboo. The nest is an oval cup, built of ferns, dry leaves, roots, grasses and a little moss, bound with fine black fibers, which also attached it to a slender fork, and sometimes the nest is bulky and untidy, with a cup of coarse grass, bamboo leaves, shreds of soft bark and other fibrous materials, inner lining of fine grass stems mixed with fern roots. They lay a clutch of 2–3 eggs.