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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 14, 2021

15 Black-Headed Bulbul Facts You’ll Never Forget

Interesting black-headed bulbul facts about this bird that will amaze you.

This article is about a small bulbul bird and lives in small flocks but often engages in combat with each other, and it will tell you everything you need to know about it including its accurate identification, taxonomy systematics, distribution, conservation status, feeding, breeding and nesting habits!

The black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) is a member of the bulbul family-Pycnonotidae and is the genus of Brachypodius. This bulbul was formerly described by Johann Friedrich Gmelin, a German naturalist, botanist, and entomologist in 1788. The distribution of this species occurs in south-eastern Asia, North Java, and the Philippines. Black-headed bulbuls are found in forests with plenty of natural vegetation and temperate climatic conditions. These birds are polytypic and have the following subspecies are Brachypodius melanocephalos melanocephalos, Brachypodius melanocephalos hyperemnus, Brachypodius melanocephalos baweanus, Brachypodius melanocephalos hodiernus. They all share the same range and habitat requirements. The black-headed bulbul has several distinctive physical characteristics including its slim lean body, glossy black head, blue eyes, and bright yellowish-golden plumage, beautiful feathers, and a broad tail. Read on to find out more about these birds!

Learn about some other birds from our cockatoo facts and red-backed shrike facts pages.

Black-Headed Bulbul Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black-headed bulbul?

The black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) is a bird belonging to the Animalia kingdom.

What class of animal does a black-headed bulbul belong to?

The black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) belongs to the Aves class, the Passeriformes order, the family Pycnonotidae, and is genus Brachypodius.

How many black-headed bulbuls are there in the world?

The accurate data about their population size is unknown. But they are considered as common birds within their range.

Where does a black-headed bulbul live?

The black-headed bulbul range occupies Northeast India, North Java in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Greater Sunda Islands, Philippines, and the Borneo island in Southeast Asia.

What is a black-headed bulbul's habitat?

The black-headed bulbul habitat includes evergreen forests, mixed deciduous forests, forest edges, and regions with temperate and cool climatic conditions. Its subspecies have the same habitat requirements.

Who do black-headed bulbuls live with?

Black-headed bulbuls are often found living in small flocks.

How long does a black-headed bulbul live?

A black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) lives up to six or eight years in the wild. The longest recorded life span is 11 years.

How do they reproduce?

The black-headed bulbul male becomes very vocal to display courtship and readiness to mate during the breeding season, whereas the black-headed bulbul female displays courtship by crouching low with a boastful lifted up rump, and fluttering her wings, and producing soft calls. Despite living in groups males tend to be highly aggressive and territorial during the breeding season. They go as far as attacking and seldom killing other bulbuls and invasive birds of other species. After pairing up the birds search for a safe and well-hidden spot in a high secluded area to build their nests to avoid any predatory attacks from animals like mongoose, minks, and rats. The nests are made of twigs, dry grass, mud, and lined with finer materials like hair. The breeding season begins early spring and lasts until mid-summer. Female birds lay about two to three eggs in a single clutch. These eggs are then incubated by the female birds alone for two weeks. The young chicks are fed by both parents after they are hatched for several weeks before they leave the nest. The young juvenile birds are fully mature by the next year.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has classified the black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) as species of Least Concern.

Black-Headed Bulbul Fun Facts

What do black-headed bulbuls look like?

The black-headed bulbul appearance is quite unique and attractive. It is a small-sized bird whose plumage is mostly bright olive-yellow, a glossy bluish-black head, has vivid blue eyes, a broad tail with a yellow edge, a weak crest, yellow throat. Adults often have hues on green mixed with their yellow plumage, a uniform black head, and conical bills that are adapted to their feeding habits and diet i.e. insects, fruit seeds, berries, and grains. Juveniles have duller plumage, with gray eyes rather than blue, and are crestless. Many subspecies of this bulbul such as the black-crested bulbul look vaguely similar to them, but can be distinguished by carefully observing the color of their throats as most of them have red-yellow necks which is absent among the black-headed bulbuls.

Fun facts about the black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) for kids.
*We've been unable to source an image of a black-headed bulbul and have used an image of a yellow-vented bulbul instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a black-headed bulbul, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How cute are they?

A black-headed bulbul is a cute bird, it is a beautiful singer, but is often noisy.

How do they communicate?

A black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) bird and its subspecies can be quite noisy, especially during the breeding season. They have an impressive vocal repertoire and produce a variety of loud, and soft calls.

How big is a black-headed bulbul?

A black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) can grow up to 5.5-9 in (14-23 cm) in size.

How fast can a black-headed bulbul fly?

The speed of this species is unknown, but given the fact that they are migratory, they probably are great fliers. The black-headed bulbul feathers make the birds look majestic in flight.

How much does a black-headed bulbul weigh?

A black-headed bulbul (Brachypodius melanocephalos) weighs around 0.5-2 oz (14-57 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names for the male and female species of the black-headed bulbul. They are simply denoted as males and females.

What would you call a baby black-headed bulbul?

A baby black-headed bulbul is called a chick. There is no scientific name for a baby bulbul.

What do they eat?

Black-headed bulbul birds are omnivores and often forage through forest grounds and river banks. They mainly feed on water beetles, earthworms, spiders, neonates, seeds, grains, and fruits like berries.

A black-headed bulbul bird is often preyed upon by snakes and falcons.

Are they poisonous?

No, birds of this species are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

This species and a bulbul, in general, can be raised as chicks, and it may be possible to train them to some extent, but they do not make good household pets as they are wild and migratory. They are best left with their kind in their natural habitat.

Did you know...

During the breeding season, intense chasing between a male and female bulbul bird often leads to the male grabbing the female in flight, resulting in both birds tumbling to the ground, with the female bird still in the male's grasp.

The black-headed bulbul was originally described in the genus Turdus. It was later moved to the large bulbul genus Pycnonotus and renamed- Pycnonotus atriceps.

There are over 130 species of bulbul bird! Some species are regarded as crop pests, particularly in orchards, and around 13 species are considered threatened by human activities and habitat loss.

The Andaman bulbul was considered a subspecies of the black-headed bulbul until 2008.

All bulbuls are monogamous, except the yellow-whiskered greenbul which is polygamous and mates with several partners in a single breeding season.

The word bulbul derives from Hindi, Persian, or Arabic and translates to 'a nightingale', but in English, bulbul refers to passerine birds of a different family.

In many cultures, the bulbul bird is considered a symbol of longevity and long happy marriage. This is just an interpretation and is not factually proven.

Do black-headed bulbuls migrate?

Yes, they do. The black-headed bulbul bird migrates shortly before the winter season further into warmer regions of their range and also before the breeding season begins to establish their territories and prepare for the female's arrival.

Are black-headed bulbuls endangered?

The black-headed bulbul bird is not endangered and can be found in forests across its range!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our hummingbird facts and whiskered treeswift facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black-headed bulbul coloring pages.

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