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The Puff-throated Bulbul (Alophoixus pallidus) is a species of songbird in the bulbul family, Pycnonotidae. It is found in Southeast Asia. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
A songbird is a bird belonging to the clade Passeri of the perching birds (Passeriformes). Another name that is sometimes seen as a scientific or vernacular name is Oscines, from Latin oscen, "a songbird". This group contains 5,000 or so species found all over the world, in which the vocal organ typically is developed in such a way as to produce a diverse and elaborate bird song.
Songbirds form one of the two major lineages of extant perching birds, the other being the Tyranni which are most diverse in the Neotropics and absent from many parts of the world. The Tyranni have a simpler syrinx musculature, and while their vocalizations are often just as complex and striking as those of songbirds, they are altogether more mechanical sounding. There is a third perching bird lineage, the Acanthisitti from New Zealand, of which only two species remain alive today.
Some evidence suggests that songbirds evolved 50 million years ago in the part of Gondwana that later became India, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Antarctica, before spreading around the world.
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
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Taxonomy and systematics
The puff-throated bulbul was originally described in the genus Criniger until moved to the genus Alophoixus in 2009. Alternate names for the puff-throated bulbul include the olivaceous bearded-bulbul, olivaceous bulbul and white-throated bulbul. The latter name should not be confused with the species of the same name, Alophoixus flaveolus.
Seven subspecies are recognized:
• Grey-crowned bulbul (Alophoixus pallidus griseiceps) - (Hume, 1873): Originally described as a separate species in the genus Criniger. Found in the Pegu Yoma Mountains (south-central Myanmar)
• Alophoixus pallidus robinsoni - (Ticehurst, 1932): Found in Tenasserim (south-eastern Myanmar)
• Alophoixus pallidus henrici - (Oustalet, 1896): Originally described as a separate species in the genus Criniger. Found in south-western China, eastern Myanmar, northern Thailand and northern Indochina
• Alophoixus pallidus pallidus - (Swinhoe, 1870): Found on Hainan Island (off south-eastern China)
• Alophoixus pallidus isani - (Deignan, 1956): Found in north-eastern Thailand
• Alophoixus pallidus annamensis - (Delacour & Jabouille, 1924): Found in central Indochina
• Alophoixus pallidus khmerensis - (Deignan, 1956): Found in southern Indochina
The puff-throated bulbul is a large (23 cm long) bulbul with olive upperparts, yellow underparts, and puffy white throat feathers. It is similar in appearance to the white-throated bulbul but with duller underparts. It has black feet and brown iris and bill. Males and females are visually indistinguishable.
Behaviour and ecology
The puff-throated bulbul is a regular but not an obligate cooperative breeder. Groups can comprise one or more breeding pairs and breed either cooperatively or non-cooperatively. In cases of multiple breeding pairs in a single territory, the pairs nest separately. The female builds the nest and incubates and broods the young.
Males and helpers aid in feeding the nestlings and fledglings. Nests are open cups typically located in the understorey.