Square-tailed bulbul

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Square-tailed bulbul
Black Bulbul by N.A. Nazeer.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Hypsipetes
H. ganeesa
Binomial name
Hypsipetes ganeesa
Sykes, 1832

The square-tailed bulbul (Hypsipetes ganeesa) is a species of songbird in the bulbul family, Pycnonotidae. It is found in south-western India and Sri Lanka. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It was previously classified as a subspecies of the black bulbul.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

Alternative names for the square-tailed bulbul include the south Indian black bulbul and the square-tailed black bulbul.


Two subspecies are currently recognized:[2]

  • Sri Lanka bulbul (H. g. humii) - (Whistler & Kinnear, 1932): The Sri Lankan race has a heavier bill than the Indian bulbul. Found in Sri Lanka
  • Indian bulbul (H. g. ganeesa) - Sykes, 1832: Found in south-western India


Calls of H. ganeesa (Kotagiri, Nilgiris)

The square-tailed bulbul lacks the black streak behind the eye and on the ear-coverts that is present in the black bulbul.[3][4][5]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

In southern India, nesting activity begins in February and rises to a peak in May. The eggs hatch after an incubation period of 12 to 13 days and the chicks fledge after about 11 or 12 days. Populations make movements in response to the monsoon.[5] Nest predators include birds of prey and snakes such as the black-winged kite and oriental ratsnake.[6] Adult square-tailed bulbuls have been known to be preyed upon by the crested goshawk.[7]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2017). "Hypsipetes ganeesa". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2017: e.T103824080A113107743. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T103824080A113107743.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Bulbuls". World Bird List Version 7.3. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  3. ^ Ali, S & S D Ripley (1996). Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. 6 (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 109–113.
  4. ^ Blanford WT (1889). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Birds. Volume 1. Taylor and Francis, London. pp. 259–263.
  5. ^ a b Baker, ECS (1924). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Birds. 1 (2 ed.). Taylor and Francis, London. pp. 368–373.
  6. ^ Balakrishnan Peroth (2010). "Reproductive biology of the Square-tailed Black Bulbul Hypsipetes ganeesa in the Western Ghats, India". Indian Birds. 5 (5): 134–138.
  7. ^ Davison, William (1883). "Notes on some birds collected on the Nilghiris and in parts of Wynaad and southern Mysore". Stray Feathers. 10 (5): 329–419.
  • Rasmussen, P.C., and J.C. Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia. The Ripley guide. Volume 2: attributes and status. Smithsonian Institution and Lynx Edicions, Washington D.C. and Barcelona.