Bird of the Week – Red-eyed bulbul

THE red-eyed bulbul is a very common resident in the drier northwest of South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

They like savanna, drier woodland, semi-arid scrub, riverine bush, farmyards, gardens, orchards and are always found near water.

These bulbuls are found in pairs or small groups and are tame, vocal and conspicuous. Their call which is a cheerful, penetrating ‘tillop, peep, peep, tiddlypop’ is often given from the top of a bush or tree. They flick their wings and flirt their tails while singing or alarmed.

Their food preference is fruit, nectar and insects. They forage arboreally, often hanging down, and hawk insects in flight while also visiting feeding trays. They drink frequently.

The breeding season is from September to March. The nest is a neat cup of grass, fine twigs and rootlets a metre to four metres above the ground in the fork of a tree or bush. Usually three eggs are laid which are pale pink in colour, speckled with dark red spots. Incubation is 11 to 12 days and nestlings remain for 13 days.

The Afrikaans name is rooioogtiptol.

  AUTHOR
BRUCE MUNRO

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