Saturday, August 4, 2012

>Hypsipetes borbonicus (Réunion Bulbul)

Réunion Bulbul


Réunion Bulbul
Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Species:H. borbonicus
Binomial name
Hypsipetes borbonicus
(J.R.Forster, 1781)
Anepsia borbonica (J.R.Forster, 1781)
Hypsipetes borbonicus borbonicus(J.R.Forster, 1781)
Turdus borbonicus Gmelin, 1789 (lapsus)
Turdus borbonicus J.R.Forster, 1781
The Réunion Bulbul (Hypsipetes borbonicus), also known as Olivaceous Bulbul, is apasserine endemic to Réunion. Formerly, the Mauritius Bulbul was included here as subspecies olivaceus, but nowadays H. borbonicus is considered monotypic.


It looks similar to the Mauritius Bulbul (H. olivaceus) but with 22 cm it is slightly smaller. It is ashy gray with a blackish crest. The iris is conspicuously white. Bill and feet have an orange hue.

Ecology and status

Its diet is primarily frugivorous. Especially in February and March it comes from higher elevations, where it inhabits humid secondary forests, to the valleys and feeds on the ripe guavas (Psidium). Nectar, insects and small lizards enrich its range of food. The female lays two eggs in a cup-shaped nest during the southern summer.
It is not a common bird anymore, mainly due to the competition by the introduced Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) and poaching. In the earlier days of the settlement of Réunion it was hunted for food on a large scale, and was considered as tasty as the Ortolan Bunting (Emberiza hortulana). As late as the 1970s it was hunted excessively. It is also kept as pet. But unlike the Mauritius Bulbul (H. olivaceus) its stocks have never dwindled to critical levels, and it is still regarded a Species of Least Concern by the IUCN.

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