The Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Burma and southwestern China, and has been introduced to Fiji and Hawaii. It is also common in urban parts of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
Subspecies bengalensis in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Subspecies bengalensis-immatures in Kolkata
This is a bird of scrub, open forest, plains and cultivated lands. It builds its nest in a bush; two or three eggs is a typical clutch.
Red-vented Bulbul is about 20cm in length, with a long tail. It has brown or black upperparts, with a white rump. The breast is brown or black, and the rest of the underparts are white apart from the red around the vent. The head and small crest are black.
Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults. The flight is bouncing and woodpecker-like.
There are a number of regional variations in plumage, mainly with respect to the upperpart and breast colour. Red-vented Bulbuls feed on fruit, nectar and insects.
The Red-vented Bulbul is incapable of synthesizing vitamin C. It shares this feature with a very limited number of other animals, among which are certain fruit bats and primates (including humans) as well as the guinea pig.