‘Ginger beer ‘ song of Red-vented Bulbul
I hear two male Red-vented Bulbuls are singing from tree tops in the morning these days in and around my home garden. They utter a sequence of ‘ginger beer’ song on and off during their singing sessions.
The Red-vented Bulbul (pycnonotus cafer) is a familiar garden bird and very common everywhere in the country. Male Red-vented Bulbuls sing quite pleasant songs during the main breeding season of the birds in the country, which is the first half of year, although this bird nests almost throughout the year. Song repertoire of this bulbul is quite varied and consists of many songs with pleasing sounds. Amongst these ‘ginger beer’ is one distinct song uttered in sequence with other songs in the repertoire.
The ‘ginger beer’ song featured below was recorded by me in May 2008 in my home garden.
G. M. Henry in his classic work on the Sri Lankan birds ‘A Guide to the Birds of Ceylon (1955)’ writes this onomatopoeic name ‘ginger beer’ under the account of Red-vented Bulbul (pages 19-20) to describe this distinctive song type of the bird.
Deepal Warakagoda, 28 March 2012