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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Bulbul: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Bulbul facts about this omnivorous passerine songbird are interesting.

The name 'bulbul' comes from the Hindi, Persian, or Arabic name, which directly refers to the common nightingale of the Muscicapidae family, known for its beautiful and powerful song. In English, however, the name refers collectively to the passerine birds of the Pycnonotidae family.

Bulbuls are medium-sized passerine songbirds, which include the likes of the red-whiskered bulbul, greenbul, leaflove, bristlebill, and brown bull. The massive bulbul family is well-distributed across the Middle East and most of Africa, Indonesia, India, and tropical Asia, and as far north as Japan, or even further north. A number of insular species of this family live on the tropical islands of the Indian ocean and have been introduced largely to other regions, partly due to the international pet trade.

There are a total of 159 species of the bulbul across 27 genera. The Asian bulbuls are widely found in open areas like urban gardens, while the African species of the bulbul family are mainly found in rainforests.

Let's look at some interesting bulbul facts. If you like these, do check out common bulbul facts and brown-eared bulbul facts.

Bulbul Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bulbul?

The bulbuls are medium-sized passerine songbirds that belong to the family Pycnonotidae.

What class of animal does a bulbul belong to?

The bulbul's kingdom, phylum, class, and order are Animalia, Chordata, Aves, and Passeriformes respectively.

How many bulbuls are there in the world?

The total population of bulbuls is unknown as there are 150 species in 27 genera spread across the world so it is difficult to determine their population.

Where does a bulbul live?

Typical bulbuls live in tropical rainforests, islands, and open areas like urban gardens.

What is a bulbul's habitat?

Bulbuls are arboreal, meaning they tend to live in trees. They cover a range of areas, as well as forests, open woodlands, and even gardens created by humans. Some African and North Indonesian species conceal themselves deep inside of forests. Some like open areas simply outside the forest or forest clearings. Species that have accustomed to drier habitats will notice homes in cultivated areas. Alternative bulbuls habitat prefer to live close to water-like islands and may be found close to rivers or forest streams. The African red-eyed bulbul is accustomed to a drier climate and may be found in areas with a good tree count, such as savannahs, dry scrub, and bushy hillsides.

Who do bulbuls live with?

The bulbul bird lives with its family related to Pycnonotidae.

How long does a bulbul live?

The bulbul's lifespan is about 11 years.

How do they reproduce?

The bulbuls from South Asia are mostly monogamous. One uncommon exception is that the yellow-whiskered greenbul seems to be polygamous and has interactions through a lekking reproductive system. Some species even have alloparenting arrangements, wherever non-breeders, sometimes the young from earlier clutches facilitate to raise the young ones of a dominant breeding pair. They then nest mostly in unoccupied spaces. Up to five purple-pink eggs are laid in open tree nests and incubated by the female bird. Incubation sometimes lasts between 11–14 days, and eggs hatch in 12–16 days.

What is their conservation status?

The collective conservation status of the bulbuls is considered to be listed as Least Concern, although a few species may have it listed Endangered due to population decline.

Bulbul Fun Facts

What do bulbuls look like?

Bulbuls like the red-whiskered bulbul are very melodious.

Bulbuls from south Asia are short-necked slender passerines. Their tails are long, and their wings are short and rounded. In most species, the bill is slightly elongated and hooked at the top. They vary long from 5.1 in (13 cm) for the little greenbul to 11.4 in (29 cm) with the straw-headed nightingale. Overall the sexes are alike, though the females tend to be slightly smaller. In a few species, the variations are vast, and therefore, they need to be represented functionally as a completely different species. This species is colorful with yellow, red, or orange vents, cheeks, throat, or supercilia, and is somewhat drab, with uniform chromatic to black animal material. Species with uninteresting colored eyes usually sport contrasting eyerings. Some have distinct crests.

How cute are they?

Bulbuls are very cute birds. Their small size and distinctive colors make them cute.

How do they communicate?

These bulbuls use various forms of communication, which are begging/contact calls recorded in fledglings. Salutation calls and flight calls were composed of advanced phrases, like the song. However, they were short and used for proximate functions. Bulbuls are extremely vocal, with the calls of most of their species being represented as nasal. In contrast, one author has even described the song of the brown-eared nightingale as one of 'the worst noises created by any bird'.

How big is a bulbul?

A bulbul bird weighs 0.5-2 oz (14-57 g) and is about 5.5-11 in (14-28 cm). It is as big as a sparrow and about three times the size of a hummingbird.

How fast can a bulbul fly?

These bulbuls can fly very fast, but their speed has not been measured.

How much does a bulbul weigh?

They weigh in a range of 0.5-2 oz (14-57 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the male and female of this species.

What would you call a baby bulbul?

Baby bulbuls can be called chicks or hatchlings.

What do they eat?

Bulbuls eat a good vary of foods, starting from fruits to seeds, tiny insects, nectar, little vertebrates, and even other arthropods. The bulk of species are frugivorous and supplement their diet with some insects.

Are they dangerous?

Bulbuls are very aggressive to other birds but not as much to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

The bulbuls don't really make good household pets as they are accustomed to the wild and are loud and boisterous.

Did you know...

Both the bulbul bird (pycnonotus) parents are responsible for feeding their young chicks.

These birds sleep in unoccupied birdhouses.

They love feeding on flowers for nectar but can also eat boiled rice.

Bulbuls nest on dense-growing vines.

The red-vented bulbul and the red-whiskered bulbul have been captured in great numbers for the pet trade and have therefore been widely introduced to subtropical and tropical areas.

Bulbul eggs hatch in about 14 days.

Their nest is often found decorated with paper.

The word bulbul means a tropical African and Asian songbird, typically having a drab plumage, crest, and most notably a melodious voice.

Different types of bulbul

Black bulbuls are found in the hilly area region of the Himalayan mountain, also known as Assam Black bulbul.

Himalayan bulbuls are found in the Indian range and are also called the white-cheeked bulbul.

Red-vented bulbuls are a very common species of and bulbul. It is the worst invasive bird, along with the common myna. These birds are very rarely found in forests and are resident breeders all over the urban cities.

Red-whiskered bulbuls are mainly found in Asia and are very often seen in small and urban cities. They have long brown tails, brown body and they are very melodious birds.

Black-crested bulbuls have beautiful shades of yellow and black on their bodies, and they feed on fruits and insects.

White-eared bulbuls are also called the white checked bird.

Yellow-browed bulbuls are currently considered the sole species.

White-browed bulbuls are endemic to Southern India.

Yellow-throated bulbuls are residents of bamboo and dense forests.

Grey-headed bulbuls are found in the eastern, western ghats

Flame-throated bulbuls are usually seen in groups.

Square-tailed bulbuls have a red bill and are found in India

Do bulbuls mate for life?

Yes, all bulbuls do mate for life as they are monogamous in nature.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover!

For more relatable content, check out these Australian masked owl facts and Eurasian woodcock facts for kids.

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

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