Yellow-Throated Bulbul


The Yellow-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus xantholaemus) is a species of bulbul endemic to southern peninsular India. The species is included in the Vulnerable (Vu) category of the Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2006). They are found on scrub habitats on steep, rocky hills many of which are threatened by granite quarrying, forest fires and grazing. It is confusable only with the White-browed Bulbul with which its range overlaps but is distinctively yellow on the head and throat apart from the yellow vent. The calls of this species are very similar to that of the White-browed Bulbul.

The habitat of the species is rocky, scrub covered hills mostly in the Eastern Ghats and central peninsular India but also in some places in the Western Ghats including suburbs of Bangalore. The distribution is highly fragmented and populations are very local making hilly habitats of very special conservation concern. It has vanished from many sites where it was earlier known.

This individual was photographed in Kolar district, Karnataka.

Editors note: This species as been recorded from 73 localities of southern India, with all recent records from hills south of 16°N and east of 76°E. It appears to be locally common, but seems to be declining. Recent surveys of 18 localities found that it had completely disappeared from six historical sites (BirdLife International 2006). According to Subramanya (2004) and Subramanya et al. this species can be found wherever its typical, preferred habitat exists — hence it occurs on most inland hills of southern India, including parts of the Eastern Ghats, and inland hills of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. On the Western Ghats, Subramanya (2004) mentions that it is present only on the drier eastern hill slopes, where it has been sighted at a couple of localities. Reference: Indian Birds Vol. 2 No. 6 (November–December 2006).

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