Chirping Red-vented Bulbuls (pycnonotus cafer ) in my vicinity
I couldn’t to attend to record much of bird sounds in my garden during last few years. Noise in the environment, particularly man-made, has improved a lot and it makes great difficulty now taking a clean recording over even a minute! I have been listening to the chirping of Red-vented Bulbuls (pycnonotus cafer) in early morning last several days and thought to capture their early morning rather soft chattering sounds soon they have flew out their night roosts. A small gathering of them on tree at a boarder of my garden provided the recording below. Soon most of them fly away to their usual feeding areas leaving the few pairs staying in my area.
Calling of the bulbuls captured next day at the tree they gather.
A bird of the resident pair in my garden on the ‘gathering tree’. (Photos by DW)
A couple of pairs retaining in the area keep calling from tree tops in vicinity, before they descend for their breakfast for the day.
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.
Red-vented Bulbul (pycnonotus cafer), photo by Uditha Hettige.
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.
Red-vented Bulbul (pycnonotus cafer ), photo by Uditha Hettige.
At times in the morning I now hear up to four male Red-vented Bulbuls singing from their regular ‘song posts’ within vicinity of my home garden. Two of them sing from their regular tree tops (i.e. ‘song posts’) of two immediate neighbouring gardens and the other two from their ‘song posts’ in the gardens further up. I recorded few song repertoires of one of the males in close vicinity and parts of three repertoires are featured below showing some of the different songs that these bulbuls sing during their breeding season.
Sound track below features a part of repertoire with about four different types of songs. Singing of one of the distant bulbuls can also hear in background of this track.
Sound track below features a part of repertoire with about three different types of songs including the ‘ginger beer’ song at the end (the last two songs), which I described in my last posting in the blog.
Sound track below features a part of repertoire with about six different types of songs including a song sounds ‘sweet potatoes’ at the end (the last two songs), as G. M. Henry names this song type under description of vocalization of the Red-vented Bulbul in his classic book on Sri Lankan birds ‘A guide to the Birds of Ceylon’ (1955).
In the morning yesterday I heard calls of mobbing Red-vented Bulbuls from direction of my backyard and inspecting on that I came across a Collared Scops owl (Otus bakkamoena) roosting at a fairly high place on a Bread Fruit tree in the adjoining garden. It was sitting under a clump of large leaves of the tree and two pairs of Red-vented Bulbuls mobbing at the owl while uttering their loud scalding calls. The four bulbuls were later joined by a pair of Purple-rumped Sunbirds (Nectarinia zeylonica) for mobbing the owl.
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Collared Scops owl (Otus bakkamoena), photo by Uditha Hettige
Sound track below features scalding calls the mobbing bulbuls, and also scalding calls of the Purple-rumped Sunbirds towards end.
I heard the bulbuls were mobbing the roosting owl time to time almost throughout the day. This was not a regular roosting place of the scops owls in the area, the pair in this area roosts in the day time at some other place in their territory. At the late evening I stood in the vicinity of the Bread Fruit tree equipped with my sound recording gear expecting the owl may call at dusk before or after it leaves from its roost. But just at dusk I suddenly heard call of a young scops owl from some distance away. The young owl kept calling for some time and then flew and landed on another tree nearby me. Although the adult owl didn’t call the young one kept calling and it was soon joined by another calling young owl which flew in from a different direction. Both young birds kept calling for some time before they flew away.
Sound track below features calls of a young scops owls. A hissing sound of the juvenile is very much different from the calls of adult birds.