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  • Aditya Singh

Yellow-Throated Bulbul

Don’t we just love it when we find a pair of rare birds close to where we live? 

The birds I’m talking about – Yellow – Throated Bulbuls – are very rare. They are very shy and don’t usually stay in one place for long.


Happy to see a pair…


Yellow-throated Bulbuls look like Oriental White-eyes I wrote about earlier, except for their larger size, longer tails and fiery red eyes.



Very shy…

They have become confined to a very small and fragmented range in the central parts of South India and are totally absent in the coastal areas. They only live in a few isolated rocky hills here and nowhere else in the world…NOWHERE ELSE..!!!

Some of the places where it was known to reside are now gone. Its known spots including Shevroy hills, BR Hills, Bellary, Chitradurga and Ragihalli in Karnataka & Tamil Nadu states have been similarly affected. So what has gone wrong? Humans have taken over their habitat and have driven them out by quarring the very hills where these birds used to live. What does quarring mean? It means using explosives to blast the rocks. These explosions are very loud – my ears are very sensitive to loud sounds so I can imagine what it would be like for these birds.


Loss of habitat in progress…mindless.

I have never found this bird’s nest but it is said to nest in rocky cliffs. Therefore, quarring is certainly devastating for them. Large number of big trucks carrying the material extracted everyday from these sites also disturbs the habitat. I read somewhere that only about 10 nests have ever been found.


One of them picked a berry…

When I saw them, one of them just picked a berry, then both of them flew to a nearby tree and were trying to blend in with the background. Here also, they didn’t stay put and moved on. This was my longest encounter with this extremely shy bird – long enough to allow me to take some pictures. The other encounters didn’t even last for a second!!

Note: I have limited pictures of this vulnerable bird and it is really difficult to find them. I consider myself fortunate to have seen and photographed them.

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