Red-whiskered Bulbul roosting

posted in: Roosting, Videography, Vocalisation | 0

On the late evening of 7th August 2017 I was suddenly alerted by the noisy calls of an unusual number of Red-whiskered Bulbuls (Pycnonotus jocosus) gathering in the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) trees fronting my house (below).

BulbulRW-YellowPenda fl [sg]

I am used to these bulbuls gathering in these roadside trees in the mornings LINK, but they seemed to have moved elsewhere.

Now they are appearing just before dusk, making use of the wayside trees as pre-roost meeting points. They move around the branches calling loudly before one by one they fly to the nearby Australian Bush-cherry (Syzygium myrtifolium Dark Red) trees. These trees are grown along the fence separating two of my neighbours’ houses as their dense foliage provide excellent privacy.

There are about more than a dozen such trees grown in a single row that will soon reach the roof of the two-and-a-half stories houses. Their closeness of these trees to the sides of the houses provide excellent protection from predators as well as the elements for the roosting birds.

These trees are proving better roosting sites than the roadside Golden Penda trees, although the latter trees are to a certain extent still used by other birds to roost.

The Red-whiskered Bulbuls usually arrive at around 6.45-7.00pm. Their contact calls last about 15 minutes before they settle down for the night. Next morning by about 6.45am they would be gone. The video below was documented on the next evening to show that it was not a one-time affair.

I have encountered very much larger flocks of migratory starlings and swallows roosting in wayside trees fronting Housing Development Board apartments some years ago. They cause noise pollution when they arrive in the evenings and depart to forage in the mornings, leaving behind their droppings.

It would be interesting to follow the roosting of these bulbuls through the years as the trees grow taller and the noise level increases.

YC Wee
Singapore
9th August 2017

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