NFSS | National Finch & Softbill Society 501(3)(C)
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White Eared

(Pycnonotus leucotis)

The White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis), is found mostly in the desert-dry lowlands from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, and as far east as the northern parts of India.

This bulbul has a medium gray body, jet black head, subtle rounded black crest and a distinct white patch over the ear coverts, hence the name. Feet and legs are mottled dark gray/brown.

These birds are sexually monomorphic. An adult is 18cm (6-7 inches) long from tail tip to beak tip. The tail is jet black, with 1/8th to 1/4th inch white tips on the end of the feathers visible from above and below. Oddly, this bulbul, as with the white spectacled, sometimes called ‘yellow-vented bulbul’, (P. xanthopygos) has bright distinct yellow feathers in the vent area, visible only from below and behind.

One breeder feeds the following diet daily – hard-boiled egg with Vionate vitamins, meal worms, gator-aid soaked ZuPreem pellets with Nekton-MSA and Nekton tonic-1, and fruit as available, such as banana, orange or apple slices, grapes and mango. There should always be at least two sources of water for any flight and a non-spoiling dry-food (such as ZuPreem Cockatiel Fruit Blend Breeder Diet Pellets, in a gravity feeder) constantly available.

In the spring, the number of meal worms is increased from around 25 a day to around 250, to stimulate breeding.

A normal clutch is two to three eggs, which hatch in 14-15 days. Initially, the parents primarily feed their chicks mealworms. I continued 250-300 large mealworms a day to the parents for the two chicks. After about 1 week, they were seen feeding the young soaked pellets. The chicks fledged about 15 days after hatching. They were easy to tell from the parents, as the young had gray head and tails, were half the size of the parents and were in heavy pinfeather. Initially they were very inactive, just sitting and waiting for the next feeding time.