Yellow-Throated Bulbul

Don’t we just love it when we find a pair of rare birds close to where we live? 

The birds I’m talking about – Yellow – Throated Bulbuls – are very rare. They are very shy and don’t usually stay in one place for long.



Happy to see a pair…



Yellow-throated Bulbuls look like Oriental White-eyes I wrote about earlier, except for their larger size, longer tails and fiery red eyes.




Very shy…


They have become confined to a very small and fragmented range in the central parts of South India and are totally absent in the coastal areas. They only live in a few isolated rocky hills here and nowhere else in the world…NOWHERE ELSE..!!!

Some of the places where it was known to reside are now gone. Its known spots including Shevroy hills, BR Hills, Bellary, Chitradurga and Ragihalli in Karnataka & Tamil Nadu states have been similarly affected. So what has gone wrong? Humans have taken over their habitat and have driven them out by quarring the very hills where these birds used to live. What does quarring mean? It means using explosives to blast the rocks. These explosions are very loud – my ears are very sensitive to loud sounds so I can imagine what it would be like for these birds.



Loss of habitat in progress…mindless.


I have never found this bird’s nest but it is said to nest in rocky cliffs. Therefore, quarring is certainly devastating for them. Large number of big trucks carrying the material extracted everyday from these sites also disturbs the habitat. I read somewhere that only about 10 nests have ever been found.



One of them picked a berry…


When I saw them, one of them just picked a berry, then both of them flew to a nearby tree and were trying to blend in with the background. Here also, they didn’t stay put and moved on. This was my longest encounter with this extremely shy bird – long enough to allow me to take some pictures. The other encounters didn’t even last for a second!!

Note: I have limited pictures of this vulnerable bird and it is really difficult to find them. I consider myself fortunate to have seen and photographed them.


  • Loss of habitat is a major problem for our countries as rare species are slowly cornered and driven to extinction.

  • Yes Aditya this is a problem in our country also as loss of habitat causes rarer birds to be cornered into eventual extinction

    • I think this “cornering” is happening everywhere in the world and there seems to be no end to it.
      I’m hopeful that this will change with honest effort.
      Thank you.

  • Very interesting, but so sad.

    • It is sad indeed. We don’t seem to be learning our lessons. Thanks for visiting.

  • How wonderful you have been able to see these special birds – and to take such excellent photos of them too. There now seems only one answer to why these – or any – species progresses from threatened, rare, vulnerable, endangered and eventually extinct: mankind. You have a sighting to be proud of! RH

    • I agree. That is the invariable conclusion that I have reached as well. Left to themselves, they would do better. Thank you for visiting and for your comment.

  • lavanyaprakash

    You are incredibly lucky to have had this encounter, and amazing pictures! It is devastating that habitat fragmentation and disturbance is happening at such a rapid rate around the world. The more people are educated and awareness is raised of the flora and fauna that exists in places, it can help to prevent it. We can only hope that in a small way, our photographs and blogposts also help contribute to this awareness building.

  • Interesting article on a bird I will probably never get to see in person. It is surprising how thoughtless people are regarding the natural environment when they are carrying on with whatever business they have. Even farming in our part of the world has very negative effects on the birds. Herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and making fields larger has greatly reduced food sources and habitat for the birds. Some of our birds travel great distances during migration and I’m sure encounter similar negative impacts all along their migration paths. I’m not sure if things can be changed it time to have a real impact on numbers of birds as we see more draining of wetlands every day here. I hate to be pessimistic but it’s hard not to when we see habitat changing each day. It is great to see your articles on some of these rarer birds so we can enjoy them when they are here. Thank you Aditya 😄

    • Thank you so much. Your thoughts mirror my concerns. Worldwide, we should put an end to all such activities, which are disastrous for nature. This should happen right now. As we know, it is hard to restore anything back from the brink. Requires great effort. We have the examples of the Giant Panda, California condor, Bald eagle and the Kiwi. Thousands still remain…

  • Nice pictures.
    I feel sad about what’s happening with the nature from a quite long time.
    Be it extinction or pollution.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing this.
    Be happy😊

  • Thank you for sharing this rare and exquisite encounter, Aditya. I hope at least some of these birds will survive.

  • They are indeed a treasure find for birders. I saw my first ones in Ramadevera Betta in Ramanagara

    • I would love to write about the fastest birds but I don’t have good pictures and videos yet.

      Thank you for visiting.

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