The yellow-browed bulbul, or golden-browed bulbul, is a species of songbird in the bulbul family, Pycnonotidae. It is found in the forests of southern India and Sri Lanka. The yellow-browed bulbul is mainly yellow on the underside and olive above with a distinct yellow brow. They are easily located by their loud calls but tend to skulk within foliage below the forest canopy. While its taxonomic classification has changed over time, it is currently recognized as the sole species within the monotypic genus Acritillas.
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The yellow browed bulbul was originally described in the genus Trichophorus in 1839 by T. C. Jerdon on the basis of specimens from the Wynaad region and given the original binomial of Trichophorus indicus. Formerly, the yellow-browed bulbul was classified in the genus Iole as two separate species but a study determined that this species is exceptional and it is now placed in the monotypic genus Acritillas. Alternatively, some authorities have included the yellow-browed bulbul in the genus Hypsipetes.
This bulbul is about 20 cm long, lacks a crest and has the upperparts olive green with a prominent yellow brow and goggle with the underparts being all yellow. The sexes do not differ in plumage. The bill is black and the iris is reddish brown. The population in the northern Western Ghats is paler yellow than the populations further south. A somewhat disjunct population is found in the Eastern Ghats. Southwestern Sri Lankan populations are greener while the northern populations are included in the nominate subspecies.
The yellow-browed bulbul has been considered as the wet-zone counterpart of the dry-zone white-browed bulbul. It is found mainly below the forest canopy of the hill forests and plantations in the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. They also occur in parts of the Eastern Ghats including the Kolli hills, Nallamalas and parts of Tirupathi and Mamandur regions in Andhra Pradesh.
Yellow-browed bulbuls are found in pairs or small groups and call loudly. They feed mainly on berries and insects. The breeding season is during the dry spell before the monsoons, mainly January to May. The nest is a cup built in a low fork covered with moss and cobwebs on the outside, giving the appearance of a large white-eye nest, and lined with fine root fibres. The typical clutch size in India is three eggs and in Sri Lanka is two. A study of 153 nests in Silent Valley National Park of India found 92% of nests had two eggs. Peak breeding in the Silent Valley National Park of Kerala was found in January and February. About a week is taken for building the nest and the eggs are incubated for about 13 days. The eggs are pale pink or white with reddish brown speckling. The eggs hatch synchronously and the nestlings fledge after about 13 days. Nestlings are fed with caterpillars, soft insects and berries.
The Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Valparai area in Western-Ghats of Tamilnadu are both perfect bird watching destinations. Birders will marvel at the array of colorful birds like Hornbills, Thrush Family, Flycatchers, woodpeckers and of course the sighting of our national bird, The Indian Peafowl.
There are more than 350 species of birds found in Anamalais. The list includes resident birds, winter visitors and endemic birds of Anamalais. Nearly 5 % of birds found in Anamalai Tiger Reserve are endemic to Western Ghats
Birdwatching or birding is the observation and study of birds with the naked eye or through a visual enhancement device like binoculars. Birding often involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are more readily detected and identified by ear than by eye. Most birdwatchers pursue this activity mainly for recreational or social reasons, unlike ornithologists, who engage in the study of birds using more formal scientific methods.
Valparai Forest Stay Stay in Forest of Valparai Forest Guest Houses Forest Bunglows Deep Forest Stay Monombolly Stay Monombolly Forest Stay Forest Cottage Forest Home StayWhat do you need for birdwatching?
• The most basic equipment required for bird watching is your eyes. That´s true but you will soon need to have more items with you if you intend to make this a pastime or serious hobby. How far you go is a matter of taste and budget.
• The most useful thing that you can carry is a notepad and pencil. Use this to make a note of location, time, date, weather and habitat. Do a list of the birds that you see and know. Do a drawing or write down a description of those that you don’t. You can look them up later in you field guide. Your notebook should become a diary of where you have been and what you have seen. It will become a useful record as time passes.
• A Field guide is a book, normally illustrated with drawings or photographs, which provides descriptions of birds that assists you in their identification. The descriptions use several factors to help you determine the exact bird that you are looking at. As soon as you see a bird that you do not recognize you will need to have access a good field guide. There are many to choose from. They come in various shapes, sizes, weight and cost.
• Sites guides. These give locations where you can watch birds, the species you are likely to see and the best time to watch.
• Binoculars. These are pretty essential and buy the best that you can afford. A good pair well looked after will last you a lifetime. Take time to choose ones that suit you.
• Clothing. Bird watching being primarily an outdoor pursuit, it is sensible to have lightweight but warm and waterproof clothing. You will be more comfortable if you wear the right type of clothing for the conditions you are in.
• Telescope. If you want to get a really close look at birds then you will need to get a bird watching scope and tripod. These are more expensive than binoculars but if you get to be serious about bird watching you will soon want to have them.
• Camera. A simple point and shoot digital camera is good if you are close to birds, especially if you have a zoom lens. If not close enough to shoot birds it is still good to take general views or mementos of your day out. More expensive cameras, with telephoto lenses, can bring you close in to the birds.
• Digiscoping. You can take pictures via your Scope–using it as a telephoto lens. You will need attachments for your scope.
1. Promote the welfare of birds and their environment.
1. (a) Support the protection of important bird habitat.
1. (b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming.
Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas, or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area;
Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites. In such sensitive areas, if there is a need for extended observation, photography, filming, or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage of natural cover.
Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.
1. (c) Before advertising the presence of a rare bird, evaluate the potential for disturbance to the bird, its surroundings, and other people in the area, and proceed only if access can be controlled, disturbance minimized, and permission has been obtained from private land-owners. The sites of rare nesting birds should be divulged only to the proper conservation authorities.
1. (d) Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.
2. Respect the law, and the rights of others.
2. (a) Do not enter private property without the owner’s explicit permission.
2. (b) Follow all laws, rules, and regulations governing use of roads and public areas, both at home and abroad.
2. (c) Practice common courtesy in contacts with other people. Your exemplary behavior will generate goodwill with birders and non-birders alike.
3. Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe.
3. (a) Keep dispensers, water, and food clean, and free of decay or disease. It is important to feed birds continually during harsh weather.
3. (b) Maintain and clean nest structures regularly.
3. (c) If you are attracting birds to an area, ensure the birds are not exposed to predation from cats and other domestic animals, or dangers posed by artificial hazards.
4. Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care.
Each individual in the group, in addition to the obligations spelled out in Items #1 and #2, has responsibilities as a Group Member.
4. (a) Respect the interests, rights, and skills of fellow birders, as well as people participating in other legitimate outdoor activities. Freely share your knowledge and experience, except where code 1(c) applies. Be especially helpful to beginning birders.
4. (b) If you witness unethical birding behavior, assess the situation, and intervene if you think it prudent. When interceding, inform the person(s) of the inappropriate action, and attempt, within reason, to have it stopped. If the behavior continues, document it, and notify appropriate individuals or organizations.
Other highlights for the avid birder will be the sighting of The Great HornBill or Thrush. Learn more about the endamic, migrants and other birds in and around valparai by checking out the list
The below list is created in the guidance of Mr. K Selva Ganesh, Cinchona Government High School, Valparai who teaches English. Along with his students, won ebird’s Great Backyard Bird Count challenge, 2017. They contributed 360 checklists of birds, the highest number in the bird count challenge, and recorded 111 species.