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White-cheeked Bulbul

Pycnonotus leucotis
Conservation Status: 
Least Concern
Iraq to Southern Iran
Tends to live in valleys where the climate is milder

White-cheeked Bulbuls are native to Iraq and Iran.  It is also the national bird of Bahrain.  The name "Bulbul" originates from the Farsi word for nightingale, owing to their melodious and whistling song.

They are primarily frugivorous (fruit-eating), with a particular fondness for dates. They also consume flowers, fresh leaves, seeds, buds, and berries. In addition, they supplement their diet with small insects and nectar, showcasing their versatility in food choices.

Courtship begins when males hold both wings over their back, their tips nearly touching.  They lean their body forward for approximately ten seconds, followed by singing. Males ruffle their body feathers and perform circular wing movements. If the female responds favorably to this courtship display, the pair collaboratively constructs a nest using leaves and twigs. Sometimes they include fragrant herbs to discourage parasites from living in their nest.  Females lay 3 eggs.  The eggs hatch after 12 days, and chicks fledge after just 9 to 11 days.