Saturday, December 1, 2012

Battle of the Bulbuls

Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis - sans tail
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis - newcomer to Geoje
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis
Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis, a successful colonizer making life hard for other would-be colonizers
  I went back to the Light-vented Bulbul spot today, and the place was boiling with activity.  One of the two Light-vented was missing its tail, I'm guessing as a result of an attack from the pack of resident and aggressive Brown-eared Bulbuls.  The Brown-eared Bulbuls had sentries all around the treeline, and attackers swooped in every few minutes to nip at and scold their Chinese cousins.  The Light-vented with the good tail would lead the tailless one to a clump of bushes where it would hide, while the tailed one stayed up top on high alert.  I watched the battle rage for the better part of an hour, it was thrilling!
  Brown-eared Bulbuls only started colonizing Korea about 70 years ago (I think!), and now they can be found pretty much everywhere.  The Light-vented Bulbul appears to be in the early stages of colonizing South Korea from China, with the first national records coming less than 10 years ago.  They're common now on Yellow Sea islands, and over the past couple of years they've been spotted as far east as the Gureyong-po peninsula, and now as far south as Geoje.

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