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White Cheeked Bulbul

Pycnonotus leucotis
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern on the IUCN Red List
Range: 
Located in Iraq to Southern Iran
Habitat: 
Tends to live in broader valleys, or side valleys and hills, where climate is milder. They seem to prefer bushes over trees.

White-cheeked Bulbuls are native to Iraq and Iran.  It is also the national bird of Bahrain.  The name Bulbul derives from the Farsi word for nightingale in view of their pretty, whistling song.

They are mainly frugivorous (fruit-eating), particularly eating dates. They will eat flowers, fresh leaves, insects, seeds, buds, nectar, and berries.

Courtship begins when males hold both wings over their back, tips almost together.  They tilt their body forward for about ten seconds, then sing.  Males ruffle their body feathers and move their wings in circles.  If the female approves of this courtship display, they build a nest out of leaves and twigs.  Sometimes they include fragrant herbs to discourage parasites from living in their nest.  Females lay 3 eggs.  The eggs hatch after 12 days, and chicks fledge after just 9 to 11 days.

Image by Pearly85 of Flickr, used under Creative Commons cc-by 2.0.