Backyard Birds

Yellow-throated Bulbuls

The Yellow-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus xantholaemus) is a species of bulbul endemic to southern peninsular India.


This species of bulbul is olive-grey above with a yellow throat, under tail coverts, and tail tips. The head is plain while the breast and belly have a grey wash. The closest resembling species is the White-browed Bulbul but this has a supercilium and lacks the yellow throat.

Distribution and habitat

The habitat of the species is rocky, scrub-covered hills mostly in the Eastern Ghats and central peninsular India but also in some places in the Western Ghats. The distribution is highly fragmented and populations are very local making hilly habitats of very special conservation concern. Many of these hill forests are threatened by granite quarrying, forest fires and grazing. It has vanished from many sites where it was earlier known.

Some well-known locations include the Nandi Hills, Horsley Hills, Gingee, Yercaud, and the Biligirirangans. The species is also seen in some parts of the Western Ghats including the Anamalais. The northern limit is known to be in the Nallamala range but it is suspected that the species may extend in range into the northern Eastern Ghats of Orissa

This bird is usually shy and hidden within scrub and is usually detected by its sudden cackling outbursts of call which are similar to those of the White-browed Bulbul. They feed on insects and the berries of various scrub plant species including Lantana camara, Securinega leucopyrus, Toddalia asiatica, Erythroxylon monogynum, Solanum indicum, Santalum album, Ziziphus, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus nervosa, Ficus montana, Canthium dicoccum and Phyllanthus reticulata.

The breeding season of this species is May to July. The nest is built on the fork of the small tree. Two eggs are laid which hatch in 20 days with the chicks fledging 13 days later.

The name of Konda-poda-pigli in Telugu was noted by TC Jerdon.

BulbulsBulbul Photo Gallery

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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