The brown-eared bulbul (Hypsipetes amaurotis) is a medium-sized bulbul native to eastern Asia. It is extremely common within the northern parts of its range and is a familiar bird throughout Japan and Korea, but in Taiwan is rare and limited to Orchid Island.
Taxonomy and systematics
Reaching a length of about 28 cm (11 in), brown-eared bulbuls are grayish-brown, with brown cheeks (the "brown ears" of the common name) and a long tail. While they prefer forested areas, they readily adapt to urban and rural environments, and their noisy squeaking calls are a familiar sound in most areas of Japan.
Distribution and habitat
The brown-eared bulbul is common in a very large range that includes the Russian Far East (including Sakhalin), northeastern China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan, south to Taiwan and the Babuyan and Batanes island chains in the north of the Philippines.
Historically, brown-eared bulbuls were migratory birds moving to the southern parts of its range in winter, but they have taken advantage of changes in crops and farming practices in recent decades to overwinter in areas farther north than previously possible. As a result, they are considered agricultural pests in some areas of Japan. Most brown-eared bulbuls still move south in winter, often forming huge flocks during migration.
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Media related to Microscelis amaurotis at Wikimedia Commons