AppearanceThe Red-vented Bulbul is easily identified by its short crest giving the head a squarish appearance. The body is dark brown with a scaly pattern while the head is darker or black. The rump is white while the vent is red. The black tail is tipped in white.
Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults. The typical call has been transcribed as ''ginger beer'' but a number of sharp single note calls likened as ''pick'' are also produced. Their alarm calls are usually responded to and heeded by many other species of bird.
BehaviorRed-vented bulbuls feed on fruits, petals of flowers, nectar, insects and occasionally geckos. They have also been seen feeding on the leaves of ''Medicago sativa''.
Red-vented bulbuls build their nests in bushes at a height of around 2–3 m while some bird lice such as ''Menacanthus guldum'' have been described as ectoparasites.
Along with Red-whiskered Bulbuls this species has led to changes in the population dynamics of butterfly morphs on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Here the population of white morphs of the ''Danaus plexippus'' butterfly have risen over a period of 20 years due to predation of the orange morphs by these bulbuls.
HabitatThis is a bird of dry scrub, open forest, plains and cultivated lands. In its native range it is rarely found in mature forests. A study based on 54 localities in India concluded that vegetation is the single most important factor that determines the distribution of the species.
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