Flame-throated bulbul

India is a diverse country, home to a vast array of bird species that are both unique and magnificent. With a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, grasslands, and deserts, the country provides a habitat for over 1300 species of birds. India is famous for its endemic bird species like Indian Peafowl, Indian Roller, Indian Pitta, and Indian Paradise Flycatcher, among many others. Some of the rare and endangered species of birds found in India are the Great Indian Bustard, Siberian Crane, and White-Bellied Heron. The country also boasts of several bird sanctuaries and national parks, including the Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, and the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, where one can witness the beauty of these winged creatures in their natural habitats. Whether you are a seasoned birdwatcher or a casual observer, India is a perfect destination to indulge in the beauty of the diverse avian species.

The Flame-throated bulbul, a vibrant avian gem of the misty hills, ignites the senses with its fiery beauty. Its plumes are dipped in the molten hues of a setting sun, each feather a brushstroke in a masterpiece of nature’s art.

The bird’s throat blazes with the intensity of a crackling bonfire, a beacon of passion amidst the emerald foliage. Its song is a melodious symphony, a serenade to the splendor of the forest, and a hymn to life itself.

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameFlame-throated bulbul
2Scientific namePycnonotus gularis
3ColourGlossy black head and upperparts, vibrant orange-red throat and breast, and yellow underparts
4Average length18 cm
5Average height8-10 cm
6Type of birdForest bird
7Found in India in statesWestern Ghats region, including parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka
8HabitatDense forests, forest edges, and bamboo thickets
9StatusLeast Concern


The Flame-throated Bulbul is a small passerine bird species found in parts of the Indian subcontinent, specifically in the Western Ghats of southern India.

The Flame-throated Bulbul has a distinctive appearance with a black head and crest, a bright red throat and upper breast, and a yellow vent and underparts. Its back and wings are olive-green, while its tail is black with white tips. The bill and legs are black. Both males and females have similar physical features.

As mentioned earlier, the Flame-throated Bulbul has a black head and crest, with an eye-ring that is pale blue-gray. The throat and upper breast are bright red, while the vent and underparts are yellow. The back and wings are olive-green, and the tail is black with white tips. The bill and legs are black.

The Flame-throated Bulbul is a small bird, measuring about 18 cm (7 inches) in length, including its tail. The tail is relatively short, measuring about 6 cm (2.4 inches) in length. Its wingspan is about 23 cm (9 inches).

Habitat and Food

The Flame-throated bulbul is a small passerine bird found in the Western Ghats of India. Its habitat is primarily in the moist deciduous and evergreen forests at elevations between 500 and 1,800 meters.

This bird is primarily frugivorous, feeding on a variety of fruits such as figs, berries, and other small fruits. It also consumes insects, nectar, and flower buds.

Flame-throated bulbuls are known for their active and agile foraging behavior, often flitting through the forest canopy in search of food. They may also feed on the ground or in mid-levels of the forest.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Flame-throated bulbul is a small, colorful bird that is native to the Indian subcontinent. Here are some details about their nesting habits and egg laying:

Nesting Habits:

Flame-throated bulbuls are known to build their nests in the forks of branches, usually in trees or bushes. They construct their nests using small twigs, grass, and other plant materials, and line the inside with softer materials such as moss or feathers. 

Flame-throated bulbuls typically lay two or three eggs in each clutch. The eggs are typically white or pale blue in color, with speckles or spots of brown or black. The eggs of the Flame-throated bulbul are relatively small, measuring about 18 mm by 13 mm. The eggs of the Flame-throated bulbul are incubated for about 14 days.

Once the eggs hatch, both parents will take turns caring for the chicks. They will feed them a diet of insects and other small invertebrates, and will also remove any waste from the nest to keep it clean. The chicks will fledge from the nest after about 16-18 days, but will continue to be fed by their parents for several weeks until they are able to fend for themselves.

IUCN Status

The Flame-throated Bulbul (Pycnonotus gularis) is classified as “Least Concern” by the IUCN, as its population is considered stable, and it has a relatively large range across the Western Ghats of India.

The species occurs in a variety of forested habitats, including evergreen, deciduous, and scrub forests, and it can also be found in gardens and plantations. While localized threats such as habitat loss and degradation, and trapping for the pet trade, may occur, they are not currently considered significant enough to warrant a higher conservation status.

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