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Sooty-headed Bulbul, an Indonesian Tiny Songbird

Sooty-headed bulbul is one of common bird species in Indonesia. The bird which is included in the family of Pycnonotidae has beautiful voice so that it is known as songbird. This species of bird is not only can be found in Indonesia but also other Asia regions such Thailand and Cambodia since its natural habitat is a region with tropical or subtropical climate. This bird commonly lives in a group and makes a nest either on tree or roof. There are different types of food which usually consumed by this songbird. They vary from seeds, fruits, nectar, and tiny insects.
Sooty-headed bulbul has special characteristics which make it different from other species of bird. It comes with small body sizes which most likely around 20 cm. It has short and slender neck. Its wings are also rather short and round shape. The beak is little longer and hooked on its tip. It is quite difficult to distinguish the female and male bird since they are quite alike. However, the female birds often come in smaller body size than the male. The majority of these birds come in grey or brown feathers. But, you can find little colour combination on their feathers such as yellow, red, or orange on their cheeks, neck or around eyes.


There are two types of sooty-headed bulbul which can be found in Indonesia. The first is the common type which is known to have Latin name, Pycnonotus aurigaster and the type which is known with gold bulbul with the species name Pycnonotus melanicterus. The one which is easily found in Indonesia is the common type. Meanwhile, the gold type is less popular since the population is smaller than the common so that it cannot be easily encountered. The gold type only exists in Sumatera, Java, Kalimantan, and Bali.


The significant differences between both types can be seen from the colour of their feathers. The common types most likely have greyish brown colour for their feathers while the gold types dominantly come greenish yellow feathers. Besides, sometimes you can spot little parts of their feathers in their throat with red pome colour. When it comes to body size, both types do not have many differences. The gold ones live in small group which usually only consist from 4 to 5 birds. Even though the gold ones also can produce nice sound and like to sing, their sounds are quite monotonous than the common types.