Date: 6/27/18 4:24 pm From: Kimball Garrett <kgarrett...> [LACoBirds] <LACoBirds-noreply...> Subject: [LACoBirds] More than one bulbul species?
As you know, Red-whiskered Bulbuls (Pycnonotus jocosus) are now common and widespread through much of the San Gabriel Valley and west into Atwater, portions of the Hollywood Hills, the eastern San Fernando Valley, and even recently in the Bel Air/Westwood area. This spread and increase in numbers shows no sign of slowing down.
Years ago Camm Swift, a now-retired Ichthyology curator here at the Natural History Museum, reported small numbers of Red-vented Bulbuls (P. cafer) in the Arcadia area, but that population (or those few escaped individuals) never seemed to take hold. But today I noticed this eBird checklist from Duarte, with two photos of what look to me like a Red-vented Bulbul (along with a photo of a Red-whiskered): https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46817241
So please scrutinize your bulbuls - especially in the Arcadia/Duarte area. It would be nice to know if Red-vented Bulbuls are getting a foothold, or whether we're just getting the odd escaped individual. They differ from Red-whiskered in having an entirely blackish-dusky head and chest, with a brownish auricular patch and some dark scalloping on the upper breast. The crest is shorter than that of the Red-whiskered. Both species have bright red undertail coverts. The song is somewhat similar to that of Red-whiskered, but they also give scratchy, gruff call notes that I have not heard from Red-whiskered. Xeno-canto has good recordings of both species.