Scaly-Breasted Bulbul – call types

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“Observed a pair of Scaly-Breasted Bulbul (Pycnonotus squamatus webberi) feeding on figs (below). They were very vocal with good opportunities to listen to calls. There is limited documentation on calls locally and some uncertainty. Some sources consider the range of calls limited to one type.

BulbulScBr [AmarSingh]

“Having heard these birds many times I would like to suggest that there are at least 3 types of calls (possibly more):
1. The commonest type of call is a short burst ‘wit’ or ‘weeet’.
2. The second is a 2 to 4 note/syllable call burst of ‘twitwit’.

“An edited audio recording of these two types of calls is given above. There are some similarities on a sonogram (below) but a close listening suggests that they are different and not just repeated.

BulbulScBr-sono Type 1-2 [AmarSingh]

3. There is a 3rd type of call made which is very different and given less often. More dragged out and ‘wider’.

“Edited audio recording (above) and sonogram/waveform is given below.

BulbulScBr-sono Type3   [AmarSingh]

“Generally this bird makes calls with high frequency notes, possibly because often found next to a rushing stream; loud background river sounds makes recording and editing a challenge.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
2nd August 2017

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Trail along primary jungle
Red Data Status: Near Threatened

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