RED-WHISKERED BULBUL (Pycnonotus jocosus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Red-whiskered Bulbul has a black head and a prominent black crest. The bill and eyes are also black. It has a red patch below the eye and white cheeks. The throat and under parts are white and the breast has some light grey. The top parts are grey. The tail is edged in white, and the vent is red. Sexes are similar. The bird is around 8 inches (20 cm) long.
NAME: The English name ‘Bulbul’ is from Persian and means ‘nightingale’. The Latin genus name ‘Pycnonotus’ is from Greek and means ‘strong back’. The Latin species name ‘jocosus’ means ‘full of fun’.
HABITAT: Threes and shrubs in open areas and urban areas. Roost communally for the night.
DIET: Feeds on flower and their buds, insects, fruits, vegetables and seeds.
NESTING: The nest is built not far from the ground in trees or shrubs. It is made of twigs and leaves held in place with spider webs. About three whitish eggs are laid. Both parents care for the chicks. This species may produce up to three broods per year.
DISTRIBUTION: Red-whiskered bulbuls were introduced to Hawaii in the 1960s, perhaps as an illegal release. They are currently localized to Oahu, where they are common. They are native to India and other south east Asian countries.
CONSERVATION: In spite of being a popular cage bird in its native range, its population is not threatened. However in Hawaii there is concern about this species chasing endemic birds and competing with them for food sources.
NOTES: In Hawaii this bulbul is considered an agricultural pest (see reference below), a potential vector of avian malaria and a disseminator of weed seeds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Red-vented Bulbul

Red-whiskered Bulbul – Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HI – © Denise Motard
Red-whiskered bulbul, Manoa, Oahu