Brown-eared Bulbul

Brown-eared Bulbul
Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis amaurotis, Lesser Yangshan Island (30.6441940, 122.0586600), Zhejiang, China, January. Brown-eared Bulbul lives farther north (to Sakhalin Island) than any other bulbul. In Shanghai Brown-eared Bulbul is a scarce passage migrant and winter visitor. (Craig Brelsford)
Brown-eared Bulbul
Brown-eared Bulbul H. a. nagamichii, Orchid Island (Lanyu Island; 22.0435616, 121.5484180), Taiwan. (Craig Brelsford)

Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis lives farther north (to Sakhalin Island) than any other bulbul. Nominate is passage migrant and winter resident in northeast China, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Taiwan. Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor Shanghai. Race nagamichii common resident of Orchid (Lanyu), Green, and Turtle islands off Taiwan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Various types of forest, to 1600 m (5,250 ft.). In winter in China favors parks, gardens, and agricultural areas. In Japan has adapted readily to urban environments. On migration often in large flocks. Undulating flight distinctive. Feeds mainly on insects in summer, seeds and fruits in winter. ID & COMPARISON Nominate has crown, mantle, and breast grey, with white striations. Isolated chestnut-colored ear covert diagnostic. Throat grey, also with streaks; belly whitish. Vent white with black markings. Tail long, brownish. Nominate larger than nagamichii, which has larger chestnut ear patch that extends to breast, neck, and underparts. BARE PARTS Bill long, pointed, black. Feet greyish-black. VOICE Calls noisy, shrill, unrestrained. — Craig Brelsford

THE BULBULS OF CHINA covers most members of Pycnonotidae in China. Click any link:

White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus
Puff-throated Bulbul A. pallidus
Striated Bulbul Alcurus striatus
Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua
Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala
Chestnut Bulbul H. castanonotus
Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii
Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis
Black Bulbul H. leucocephalus
Black-headed Bulbul Brachypodius melanocephalos
Black-crested Bulbul Rubigula flaviventris
Crested Finchbill Spizixos canifrons
Collared Finchbill S. semitorques
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni
Flavescent Bulbul P. flavescens
Brown-breasted Bulbul P. xanthorrhous
Light-vented Bulbul P. sinensis
Red-whiskered Bulbul P. jocosus
Yellow-vented Bulbul P. goiavier
Red-vented Bulbul P. cafer
Sooty-headed Bulbul P. aurigaster
Himalayan Bulbul P. leucogenys

See also:

Styan’s Bulbul Pycnonotus taivanus


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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