We are lucky to have a pair of straw-headed bulbuls here! They usually fly around together and like to drink from and bathe in our swimming pool, which is where we usually see them. We nicknamed them “Strawberry” because of our mother. In her excitement to notify us, straw headed bulbul becomes “Strawberry” 😛
Description: Like other bulbuls, straw-headed bulbuls (Pycnonotus zeylanicus) are songbirds. They have a distinctive loud, melodious warbling call that unfortunately has made them popular cage-birds 😦 You can usually find them in pairs or in families, in green areas like forests or gardens. They are larger than most other bulbuls and have a distinct orange-golden crown and face (which is why they are called straw-headed), as well as red eyes, a streaked brown body, green wings and what looks like a black moustache on their face.
Status: Uncommon resident breeder. This globally threatened (vulnerable) bird is apparently doing well in Singapore! 🙂
Diet: Fruits and insects, like other bulbuls.
20th May 2014
Our very first spotting of this bird was by chance. During the afternoon, we saw a bird taking a bath at our pool. We didn’t take any notice of it until a yellow-vented bulbul landed near it and that was when we noticed how different it was from the bulbul. It was a lot larger in size! We managed to take some pictures of it but had no idea what it was. It was Georgina Chin who kindly helped us identify our special find! 🙂
After the dip in the pool, the bird flew to its drying station – a popular spot for birds to dry their feathers after dipping in our pool. Cute!
13th June 2014
And then we discovered there were two! A pair living right here 🙂 They chirp so beautifully and seem so loving to each other!
14th June 2014
Seen from a certain angle, it could be mistaken for the more common yellow-vented bulbul.
The two straw-headed bulbuls are usually seen together. :3
17th June 2014
These birds are quite timid! Once, when we rushed out into the balcony to take pictures of them, our door slammed a little too loudly and they immediately took flight. Luckily they came back later in the day! They love dipping in our pool.
17the June 2014
Because it’s been so hot lately, the only times we see Strawberries is when they need to cool off….