Home | Bird Behavior | The Red-Vented Bulbul – an Ideal Softbill or Non-Typical Cage Bird

The Red-Vented Bulbul – an Ideal Softbill or Non-Typical Cage Bird

Red-vented BulbulI first kept Red-Vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer) as “filler birds” to take up space in a huge, planted aviary I maintained at the Bronx Zoo.  However, their confident, inquisitive natures soon led to their being among the exhibit’s most popular inhabitants with visitors.  I find them to be among the most easily-kept of the softbills (a term applied to a loose collection of “non-typical” cage birds such as Bulbuls, Pekin Robins and others), and a great species with which to start when seeking to add variety to one’s collection.

Description and Range

Red-Vented Bulbuls inhabit a huge range that extends from India east to Vietnam and south to Java; they have also been introduced to Hawaii and many other places.  They inhabit open woodlands, scrub, farms, villages and cities, pairing off while breeding but otherwise going about in small groups.

Among the most readily available of their 120+ relatives, Red-Vented Bulbuls have a subtle beauty.  Their plumage is a pleasing mix of light to chocolate browns, tan, white and black, with a purple-tinged red patch at the vent.  When excited, angry or otherwise stimulated, bulbuls raise the head feathers into a crest, which is most amusing to behold.

Keeping Red-Vented Bulbuls

In my opinion, the Red-Vented Bulbul’s chief selling point is what can only be described as a “friendly personality”.  As long as they are not crowded or stressed, Red-Vented Bulbuls are very curious about people – I was able to induce several to feed from my hand in a very short time.  They really do make the most engaging pets, and in parts of Asia are kept and treated much as are parrots.

Unlike many softbills, Red-Vented Bulbuls do fine in a large indoor cage but, given their size (8 inches) and high level of activity, they really come into their own in an outdoor or indoor aviary.

Captive Diets

These little fellows are quite hardy and fare well on a high-quality insectivorous bird food (please write in if you have difficulty in locating this) into which has been mixed a bit of Softbill Select and Egg Food.  Hard boiled egg and some cooked ground beef should be offered regularly.

However, a highly varied diet, packed with insects and other invertebrates, is essential if you want to keep your birds in peak color and breeding condition.  I’ve always maintained insect traps, such as the Zoo Med Bug Napper, to help meet the needs of the softbills under my care. 

Wild and Canned Invertebrates

Red-Vented Bulbuls relish grasshoppers, katydids, crickets, spiders, sow bugs, beetles, flies, termites, moths, mealworms, waxworms, fly larvae, silkworms – almost any invertebrate, in other words!  Please see my articles on Collecting Feeder Insects to learn more about increasing dietary variety.

Canned Invertebrates marketed for use with captive reptiles and amphibians are a convenient means of increasing the nutritional content of bulbul diets.

Dried Shrimp, a food favored by old-time bird keepers for insectivorous birds of all types, should also be offered.

Further Reading

Although we aviculturists appreciate the Red-Vented Bulbul, it makes quite a pest of itself when introduced into foreign environments.  Read about the trouble it is causing on Hawaii here.

I’ll cover the popular Red-Whiskered Bulbul and some others in the future. 

Red-vented Bulbul image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by JMGarg



  1. avatar

    This is amazingly informative.. all the things you keep putting up are wonderful.. Hey, do you like funny stuff about birds too? I just started trying to make this webcomic about birds.. any comments you have for me, good or bad, would be quite helpful.. thanks.

    ==Ben Carlsen

  2. avatar

    Hello Ben, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog and the kind words, much appreciated. Looks like you are off to a good start; I’ll take another look once you have some more content up.

    Good luck and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  3. avatar

    How long do red vented bulbuls live? I have a female about to turn 2 years old this month? (March 2011)….

    Any ideas?

    I live in Hawaii, if I move to the US Mainland – would I be allowed to bring her as a pet?


  4. avatar

    Hello Eric, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for your interest in our blog. As of now, the US Dept. of Agriculture prohibits importation of the Red-Whiskered Bulbul, but not of the Red-Vented specifically.

    However, your bird could be confiscated based on similarity of appearance. I would contact the USDA directly…be sure to provide them with the bird’s genus and species, and get an opinion in writing.

    You should also contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wildlife agency of your state port of entry and final destination…animal regs are in a state of flux right now, and stricter laws are being enacted throughout the country.

    The published longevity is 4 years; I believe I had several that lived to age 6, but they were in a ½ acre exhibit and, for some reason, several were banded identically!…so I’m not positive, but I would say 5 years would not be unreasonable.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  5. avatar

    Hi this is great info. I have a red vented that was given to me when he did not en have ery many feathers. And was told that cats ate the parents. This little bird has stolen my heart and seems very bonded to me alone. He pecks and snaps at others who try to touch him. My worry is he breaks off all of his flight and tail feathers. He is almost never in his cage and is always got activities to keep his mind going. Is there anything I can do to keep him from breaking them off? Even his poor tail feathers arebroken.. Help?

  6. avatar

    Hello Kerry, Frank Indiviglio here.

    Thanks for the kind words. It may be the adjustment to the cage that is causing the problem. If he’s used to flying or moving about for much of the day, he will likely continue to be active once put in the cage. Assuming there is no underlying health/nutrition problem, Broken feathers are usually the result of trauma from cage bars. Even roosting at night with the feathers pushed against the bars can be a problem (check also that he is not being startled at night by lights, noises. A larger cage may help, or perhaps re-arranging the perches, but perhaps not. A modified room or corner of a room would be ideal, but of course that is not always practical.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  7. avatar

    hi there i am wandering if BULBUL, CANARY and FINCHES can be together in a avery cage (1 m X 2 m).
    I need to know before bulbul attack them
    thanks for your time

  8. avatar

    Hello Mustaph

    Thanks for your interest. Bulbuls need lots of room and tend to be more aggressive than most finches; I’ve only mixed them with others in very large zoo exhibits. Many finches will co-exist with one another and with canaries, although problems can arise during the breeding season. Please let me know what species you have in mind.

    Please let me know if you need any further information. Good luck, enjoy and please keep me posted.

    Best regards, Frank Indiviglio.

  9. avatar

    Hi, I live in Hawaii and have successfuly raised many wild baby birds in need of help. My favorite are the Hawaiian Zebra Doves. But I just recently found a baby Bulbul sitting on my doorstep late at night in the rain. It could barely flutter and not yet fly. I took pitty on it, and took it in and fed it for a couple days. I have a small cage, and took it outside with me to water the plants and give it fresh air. I put it near our tree hoping maybe it’s parents were still around. A little while later two adult Bulbuls were swooping down from the branches chattering away at the baby bird keeping other birds away. The baby bird got excited and seemed to be calling to them. So I took the baby and put it on a low branch. I watched closely for an hour and never saw the “parents” get closer than a couple feet away, eventhough the baby was crying for food. I was convinced the parents were greatful to have it back and would welcome it with open wings. But when I got off work at 11pm, I came home and heard the baby still crying for food but now seemed more distressed and hungry, calling non stop. It had gotten to a much higher branch and was unreachable. The “parents” are still nearby in a tree. I’m going to watch the tree tomorrow and see if the baby seems more desperate for food and try and retrieve it if it seems like the parents have not resumed feeding. I’ve googled it but can’t seem to find an answer. I know that some parents won’t take the baby back after handling, but I also know it depends on the species. I was wondering if you know if Bulbuls were ones that will disown it if it smells of human, or will take it back. Any advice is appreciated. I found your post very informative and I’m very greatful. Thanks. 🙂

  10. avatar

    Hi Sierra,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    You did the right thing…best to leave the youngster where it is. Birds will not reject young due to scent (most have little or no sense of smell anyway, except for kiwis, some vultures). Rejection sometimes occurs due to the stress of disturbance, etc., or because of hormonal changes that occur once a youngster goes missing; (breeding is heavily influenced by hormones and also internal “clocks”…at loss of chick parents may begin re-nesting, and then may ignore chick if returned, or they may go out of breeding condition, and then not be stimulated to feed the chick if it is returned. Sometimes birds that are not the chick’s parents take an instinctual interest, but do not feed. So, it is a complicated process, no real way to predict. But bird will be better off where it may be fed, also if at fluttering stage it will try to eat on its own. Most species leave the nest well before they can fly; many are killed via accident or predators at this time, under normal circumstances. No real way around that.

    Please keep me posted; any observations, comments on birds there would be most appreciated by myself and my readers, Best, Frank

  11. avatar

    When I was 9 I came across some neighborhood boys that had found a baby red vented bulbul and were planning to jump over it with their bikes. 🙁 So I ran home and grabbed my allowance and went back and bought the wild baby bird for a whole $10 dollars, best 10 dollars I’ve ever spent. I had built a little make shift Aviary since my mother refused to let it in the house. I noticed some adult Red Vented Bulbuls fluttering around it. The baby could not yet fly and so I opened the top of the cage. And then something beautiful happened… It had seemed a whole community of the birds gathered around the baby’s distress calls and then took turns feeding it. Soon the baby had around 4 or 5 adult red vented Bulbuls looking after it. I would lock it up safely away from predators at night in the warm shelter of a shoe box packed with rags. This went on until the baby was old enough to fly and eventually took off with it’s new found group of “parents”. I had never come across birds that were so loving and willing to take a baby in that wasn’t their own.
    Also when I was 12 my step dad worked on a ship in the Navy. When re-painting the ship the men had come across a baby Hawaiian Zebra Dove in it’s nest. Needing to move the bird to finish painting, one of the men suggested just throwing it in the water, but my step dad stepped in and explained he would bring it home to me. I named it Pecker and we were inseperable. I did not clip it’s wings, but it stayed with me always. I would go to school and it would patiently sit through classes on my shoulder. If I went to the store, it would ride at the front of the cart and pretend it was flying. Sometimes flying back to my shoulder if it got too scared. It was the sweetest bird I’ve ever had the pleasure of caring for. I am a vegetarian obsessed with all animals, but birds are my favorite.

  12. avatar

    Hi Sierra,

    great stories, thanks very much for them and your kindness,

    If the timing is right, we can sometimes even get birds to accept and rear chicks of different, but related species. We often do this for endangered species at the zoo. ie. by pulling the first clutch of an endangered Pink Pigeon, we can induce the hen to lay a replacement clutch. The pulled eggs and chicks will be reared by collared doves, assuming they have been cycled properly. Has worked for pheasants, various hawks and some others. They of course there are the nest parasites…cuckoos, whydas, cowbirds, etc., which lay their eggs in the nests of “foster parents” of other species. The parasitic chicks usually hatch first and toss the other eggs or even kill the chicks, so as to claim all food brought by the “parents”!

    Enjoy, Best, Frank

  13. avatar

    Aloha Frank,

    I have raised a baby Bulbul that was found on the ground on a very busy street by a friend of mine. He/she is now about 3 mos old and has poor feather growth but flies very well around the house and is otherwise healthy and active.

    I am reluctant to soft release him since he has never really been out. It is advisable to try? If not, I would like to get him a companion bird. Do you have any suggestions of what other birds he would be compatible with?

    Thank you so much!

  14. avatar

    Aloha Bev,

    Tough one; they are usually good at foraging on their own, but whether or not the bird will be cautious enough around people etc, is a question…most species adjust. but poor feather growth will impact survival chances. Perhaps wait until a molt; try varying the diet; additional protein – insects, hardboiled egg, egg food, small amounts of cooked chop meat, cottage cheese rolled into softbill food – would be especially helpful.

    As for company, they are not social in the manner of, for example, parrots, and hand=reared birds tend to bond to people rather than other birds, at least in captivity. Those I’ve kept in mixed aviaries have stayed with other bulbuls; a pet could in theory get along with a similarly sized finch, but could be tricky…

    Enjoy and please keep me posted, Frank

  15. avatar

    Thank you so much! That is very helpful. I greatly appreciate it.

  16. avatar

    My pleasure..let me know how all goes, Best, Frank

  17. avatar

    Hi Frank!! I emailed you a while back about trying to take my bulbul bird out of Hawaii. I just wanted to give you an update on him, and give information to anyone who might be wanting to take a bulbul off island in the future. I was able to get him to the mainland back in February for a very hefty price. I went through a company called Global Animal Transport. While they were able to get him to me, I have to say I wasn’t super impressed with them. They kept telling me they’d email or call with quotes and information on his transport, but I kept having to contact them to get the info. He also wasn’t flown directly, he had to stop in Utah. There was a layover, and then the flight was delayed, and he ended up getting really sick. He was wobbly and lethargic and just didn’t seem “right.” The vet said it was probably from the jet fumes and gave him some fluids and luckily he got better! Today he is doing very well and I can’t say how happy I am to have him with me!! Thanks again for your help and I hope all is well!! Oh and by the way, he LOVES the canned crickets you suggested on here. And he also loves dried papaya and meal worms 🙂 Thanks again!! Kelly

  18. avatar

    Hi Kelly,

    Thanks so much for the update; great info to have on hand, much apprciated. I’ve noticed similar problems with birds, especially smaller species – lethargy, disorientation. In hummingbirds, it’s related to the lack of food; perhaps so with others, as they may not eat in transit and do not have much reserves. Fumes also very quickly affect all birds.

    Glad all is well now, and good to hear he is eating the canned insects. You might try silkworms as well, to add some variety. Enjoy, best, Frank

  19. avatar

    Dear Mr. Frank Indiviglio,

    I’ve got a baby bulbul but it’s not so young, maybe 2 to 3 months old now, and it’s red vent is slowly appearing (babies don’t have it, as you know). Please let me know how to train this bird to whistle my tune as so far, I’ve only managed to teach it one whistle, but the problem is that it keeps repeating only this whistle. How can I succeed in training it to whistle another tune? Pls help!!! I know it is difficult now as the bird is not so young, but please advise!

  20. avatar

    Hello William,

    Unfortunately, they can have a “one track mind” as far as this goes! It’s actually a good sign that it is mimicking one whistle. A tape played so that the bird can hear it may help. Canaries and others often respond to the sounds of wild birds, heard through a window, more readily than to human whistles…not east to arrange or control this, but it does add interesting noted to their songs. But there really is not sure way to cause the bird to mimic a certain tune,

    Enjoy, please keep me posted, Frank

  21. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    Nice to see your quick response. I’d like you to know that birds (most of the type that I’ve kept in a cage), usually respond better to sounds (whistles) that are heard from another room as the bird feels that there is a species of it’s kind some friend around. This technique works specially when the room is quiet. The repetition of sounds must be abrupt, taking the bird by surprise and keeping the bird interested, that means that the bird should actually hear the whistling clearly, step by step. Too much whistling makes the bird less interested but a few whistles at the right moment, is all it takes for the bird to learn. Now, my bird whistles only one of my own whistles but I hope and I feel that it will learn more provided I keep on repeating my new whistle again and again at the right time to register the sound in the bird’s mind. I think you will agree to my opinion. Do let me know if you have any ideas, from anyone!!! Thanks a lot !!!!

  22. avatar

    Hello William,

    Thanks for your update and opinion. Mimicry is a detailed concept, the “hows” & “whys” vary between species; their natural history determines much of this. For example, talented mimics such as American Mocking Birds copy other sounds for different reasons than do other species. Captivity changes this a great deal, of course, so it’s sometimes difficult to analyze what we are seeing.

    In general, adult male birds are competing with one another when singing, so hearing another of the same species is actually a challenge, and may stimulate them to respond. Younger males may try to copy. In some species, males become stressed if they are exposed to the calls of a more dominant individual (most can access dominance, health via the call) or a competing species or predator, especially if they are caged and cannot move away. We have much to learn…great that you are paying attention to details. E joy, best, Frank

  23. avatar

    Dear Frank,,

    I am a bird enthusiast and I have been rearing bulbul chicks and relesing them back into the wild after they are able to fend for themselves back here in India. I have observed in many of the young chicks that after moulting the new wing/tail feathers fall off quiet often i.e. partially undeveloped resulting in stubs. As mentioned by you they may break off when the bird jumps in and around in the cage or if it gets disturbed in sleep and collides with the cage bars. I have taken due notice of this from my experience and I see to it these days that this does not happen, but still the new feathers in one of the chick I have right now are coming out, I have not seen it pluck them, they just fall off on their own. I think it is more common in female birds than in males. Other than the wing feathers rest of the feathers are growing well and the bird is perfectly healthy. I think there is some minor vitamin deficiency as commercial foods are not available in India I feed it on bananas, boiled egg, papaya, rice and some insects if I get them but it’s very difficult to find live prey. Can you suggest me some tips that will help in normal development of the feathers, it will be very helpful.

  24. avatar

    Hello Ravi,

    Thanks for your interest. Many things can be involved in the tail feather loss, but from what you report I believe it is, as you suggest, nutritional. Deficiencies in the diet when the birds are young can cause problems later in life, as with the tail feather loss. That being said, it is unusual that only the tail feathers would be involved (if nutrition is causing the difficulty). Unfortunately, there’s no way say for certain without testing, etc.

    Wild Bulbul chicks are reared largely on insects, so protein (and other nutrients provided by insects) is important to proper development. If insects are not readily availble, cooked ground meat should be offered if possible. Increasing eggs may also be useful. Other protein sources that are used include dry, powdered milk (which can be mixed into other foods) and cheese or yogurt. Yogurt of moist cheese can be rolled into dry cornmeal or a similar food, in order to dry it out and render it easier to consume.

    Sorry I could not be of more help; please keep me posted and good luck with your fine work. Anything you might learn along the way would be most useful to others, so please write back when possible.

    Best regards, Frank

  25. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your advise, I had not thought about the yogurt thing, its a good idea and I will surely include it in my Bulbuls diet. This week from what I observe the feathers are growing very well and look normal, I hope they continue to grow well.

    With some of the chicks which I had recently I have trained them to come back home after they have been reseased and it is very interesting. The bulbuls can have their freedom and I can have the joy of petting them too.



  26. avatar

    My pleasure, Ravi. Thank you for the info on returning birds…very interesting to know. I’ve not heard of others doing that with bulbuls…well done! Please keep me posted, I hope your birds do well.

    Best regards, Frank

  27. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    Nice information on your website that keeps on updating.
    I will also feed my red vented bulbul with yoghurt mixed with other dry foods. Good idea. I also want to inform you that my bird has learned to imitate some more of my whistles. However, the training process must continue, always!!!
    Best wishes,

  28. avatar

    Nice to hear from you William, and thanks for the kind words. Great work with the bird, I’m sure you are enjoying. please keep me posted, good luck with all, Frank

  29. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    I’ve got very very sad news. My pet African Grey Parrot (Poly) died on the 2/Oct/2012. It was bitten by a rat and the vet said he would be OK after giving some medicines. Unfortunately, my pet died and I’m left with the kind of grief that I’ve never experienced in my life, ever! I wake up in the night, my heart is in pain, my mind is reeling and I just don’t know how to cure myself. My bird had a relationship like a human being, or ever better than that! My bird lived for 12 years! Now, the whole family is heartbroken. What do you suggest? My wife says she does not want to have another bird. My heart says that someday, I should. What do you say? Kindly reply in detail, as you seem to be the right person to talk to, as you know what it is to love a pet bird and such matters that very few people understand. Looking forward to your elaborated reply. Please !!!

  30. avatar

    Hello William,

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Unfortunately, I cannot offer much in the way of useful advice. In my experience, these matters are very personal, and can only be decided according to each person’s unique perspective and personality. It is very typical for some people to desire to replace the pet right away, while others no longer wish to have an animal.

    I’ve worked with many thousands of pets and zoo animals over the course of my life, and so have a different perspective from the typical pet-keeper, because deaths come so frequently in my line of work. I think this happens in many fields…my sister, a lifelong nurse, deals with human death far better than I, yet has a great deal of trouble with pet losses.

    ParrotForums has a bereavement section, where people post experiences and advice…I’m not personally familiar with it, but but perhaps this will be helpful to you and your wife?

    I’m sorry I could not be of more help, I hope all goes as well as is possible, Frank

  31. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    Thanks for your advice. Actually, the vet did not give the necessary injection for my pet. Oral medicine did not work well as the pet. My old mother (in India) could not do much as I was away from her (working in Kuwait). I just hope someday, I’ll get over this feeling but one thing I must say is that my pet was a real wonder. Something to cherish. My mother & son are heartbroken. My mother can never imagine another bird like Poly. The death of my bird makes me feel so sad, I’ve never had this feeling ever! Thanks for your support.

  32. avatar

    Hello William,

    Medicating a bird after a bite wound is a very difficult process; alternative vet care may not have changed the outcome, unfortunately. I hope you and yours adjust and find a way to enjoy birds again. I have noticed that people sometimes compare new pets with others, and this is not always ideal…although sometimes there are pleasant surprises. Some people opt for a different type of pet, so that those tendencies are not as strong.

    Best regards, Frank

  33. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    I sincerely appreciate your your comments. They are coming at a required time when no one understands the pain that I’m going through. The feeling is so bad, that I never experienced before. My mind says ‘only if the Vet had to give an injection, the life of my bird could be saved’ or it says ‘well, it had to die either way’. Now, 6 days have passed since Poly died, but I wonder how to cope with life without a pet like Poly. I love African Grey Parrots but I feel the time is not right to go for another one as my mind does not permit another bird to come into my life just like that. I’d appreciate your comments, if any, please!

  34. avatar

    Hi William,

    I do not believe that medication would have made a difference. Older zoo bird keepers had a saying: “A bird is either healthy or dead”. While we know more about treatment now, most birds do have very fast metabolisms and their immune systems seem ill suited to dealing with most infections. I’ve spend many years in fieldwork, and can count how many sick birds I’ve encountered easily, very few. As you know, rats still cause many human deaths and illnesses…it is said that, over time, they have killed more people that all wars combined…could be closer to the truth, I believe. We know very little about how to treat infections passed from one species to another, such as a parrot. Birds also succumb very quickly to trauma and blood loss, as in a bite. Not to give you anything more to worry about, but I would be concerned about any loved ones who may have been living in the home where the parrot was bitten, if that is where it happened. rats can pass disease via bites, feces, dropping etc. I would suggest looking into was of limiting the risk to people living there.

    Best, Frank

  35. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    Thanks a lot for your kind advice. I’m feeling better than before, but not healed. The pain goes on. I think it will take some time!
    Best wishes,

  36. avatar

    Good luck , William,

    Best, Frank

  37. avatar

    Thank You, Dear “Frank”, as your name suggests, thank for your frank advice.
    Best regards,

  38. avatar

    My pleasure, William, Best, Frank

  39. avatar

    Help please! – we’ve got a Red-Vented Bulbul’s nest at our place.The nest has been built right in the middle of our living room inside a fake flower pot which hangs from the ceiling.Our family frequently sits there but the birds didnt seem to mind it an went ahead building the nest anyway while we watched.An they ont fly away even when we go close to them.The mother bird ended up laying 2 eggs there and they hatched 3 days ago (Wednesday 20th February)since which The mother and father bird have been very watchful over the new offspring and they kept taking turns feeding the baby/warming the chicks up every 3-5 mints till night time when one bird comes over to warm the chicks throughout the night.This process continued till today.And now i noticed the parent birds have stopped coming to the nest since late after-noon today and now its night (9.40 P.M).. the baby chicks were squealing and opening their beaks up when i went to make sure they were alright.I’m worried that the parents abandoned them.And they are only 4 days old!! .How long should i wait to make sure the parents have really abandoned them? so that i could start feeding them and warming them up with a cloth or something? I’m really worried,. if the parents don’t arrive tomorrow should i feed them myself? if so what should i feed them? an how do i warm them up? I fed them a few baby spiders crushed just now since they were squealing in hunger and now they are asleep.I hope they wouldn’t get cold in the night without their parent warming them up 🙁 Please help me! a quick reply is appreciated if possible (im so worried).. thanks so much in advance!

  40. avatar

    Hi Sofie,

    It’s not easy to raise baby bulbuls, as they need a great many insects each day. Hard boiled egg, cooked chop meal and dry dog food that has been softened with some water are sometimes accepted as substitutes, but leaving the nest undisturbed would be best, as the parents may return in the morning. It’s a gamble, but covering the nest would discourage the parents. Warmth can be supplied by a small light bulb or a heating pad, but this would require moving the nest and once that is done the parents willl not return. Given the difficulty in hand raising them, your best option would be to leave the nest until at least morning.

    Best, Frank

  41. avatar

    Thanking you for the quick response Frank! May god bless you!

  42. avatar

    Frank gave you some good advice. However, if the babies is fine, that great to hear. If you need some advice regarding food, you can feed the babies with semi-solid easy to digest paste made out of gram (indian chick peas), as many of my friends including me, have raised these birds this way. Also, include banana as it is soft and easy to digest. I”m sure you will not have a problem but providing warmth is an important factor when birds are small. Good luck! These birds are amazing imitators of short whistles. I have one that has learned to whistle the samsung mobile sweet whistle!

  43. avatar

    Hi William,

    Very good to have that info, thanks very much I haven’t tried a plant based diet for them or simialr species…good to know. best regards, frank

  44. avatar

    Hi Frank, me always busy but always find time for pets! Your job is always appreciated. Have a nice day!

  45. avatar

    Hi! this is sudhindra from India, I have come across a situation where in my daughters have brought home a abondoned nest of BULBUL with two chicks of probably 2-3 days old(i asume as they have not opened their eyes yet)

    I am a bird lover and want to rear them and set them free once they grow up.
    Please suggest me in detail on how to take care of these young ones, and their diet and duration of their growth to set them free.
    I have kept them in the same nest and put it in a couragted box.
    Please mail me soon as don’t want to make any lapse on my part in saving these little ones.


  46. avatar


    Nice of your daughters and yourself to take such an interest. Bulbul chicks are not easy to raise when so young. They will need to be kept warm and fed every-3 hours during the day (depending on the amount of food they take). One reader has has success with a paste made of Indian chick peas and banana, moistened with some warm water (this will meet their drinking needs); hard-boiled egg, cooked chopped meat and any available small insects can also be offered. Often they are in a very weakened condition when found, and do not recover, so please prepare your daughters … Please keep me posted, Best regards, Frank

  47. avatar

    hi,I rescued a baby bulbul 6 months ago.Now it has become so attached to me that it refuses to leave even if I keep the balcony and windows open.She plays with the pigeons and other birds in the balcony ,then comes inside and sits on my lap.A pair of bulbuls come to my balcony but are very aggressive with her and always try to hit her.I’m really worried about my baby.She has no partner and I’m wondering what to doabout her lonliness.I want my baby to have a normal life.Get a companion for life and fly high in the sky.Please advise what to do.

  48. avatar

    Sunendra, your chicks are very young.You will have to open their beak and insert food.I used to give my baby boiled rice/banana when she was this young.In a month,they will learn to eat on their own.That time,you can also give Cerelac mixed with water..i used to give it to my baby bulbul every hour (when she was 15 days old).. give apple small pieces, banana,grapes,mango..they love fruits.My baby bulbul loves to eat EVERYHTING that I eat.She’s 6 months old now and eats roti sabji with me. do not try to give them direct milk.Do give them water with a dropper..2-3 drops every hour…this is what I did.One problem is ,my bulbul never ate egg..so shes low on protein.To compensate for her feather growth, I give her a vitamin tonic.That keeps her feathers good enough.

  49. avatar


    Unfortunately, once a bird has imprinted on people it may be difficult to release it; although much is instinctive, there are learned behaviors that, if missing, may cause attacks; imprinted birds rarely mate successfully, even if they do survive in the wild. I have seeen this in a number of avian species, and in a variety of mammals as well. The bird might fare better in captivity. best regards, Frank

  50. avatar
    William Alphonso

    Hi Frank,
    Nice information, will do good to to pet lovers / rescue people. I’m really proud of my red-vented bulbul as the bird is so attached to me, and flaps its wings sticking its tongue out! This is typical of red-vented bulbuls if given due attention, care & food . I read that keeping pets is not a good idea as birds belong to the wilderness / they should have their own freedom. However, I’m surprised how much my bird loves me! There is something people don’t understand what I understand. Only pet lovers know this !!! Keep up the good work Frank, your advice is precious!!!

  51. avatar

    hi Frank,
    Thank you so much for the reply… a very disturbing incident happened today. My baby bulbul got up at 6:30 am and I took her outside in the balcony for fresh air and also to play around.Suddenly a hawk came from nowhere and attacked her.Thanks to THAT pair of bulbuls who always fight with her;it was because of their alarming calls that my bulbul flew inside.I’ve kept all the windows and balcony closed now.But when that other pair of bulbuls came in the evening to my balcony, within 2 seconds this hawk came again and attacked THEM this time !!!! Luckily they escaped ! I’m terrified for all 3 babies now…. I threw away all the food kept in the balcony for them;as it is the food for which they come.I think the hawk is going to keep hovering over my place for a few more days and I’m scared now…I don’t want any of these wonderful birds to become its food.Can you please suggest how can I keep this HAWK away from these little ones ?? Please. don’t ask me to comply with the ruthless rules of nature… It better go eat fruits; not these babies.Please help me :(:( I’m really disturbed… 🙁

  52. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated. Hand-raised birds of non threatened species, that are kept by responsible owners, generally do fine in captivity; assuming local laws are obeyed, there is no harm in this…it’s how all good conservationists/zoo people of my generation started out, and we continue with the practice, best, Frank

  53. avatar

    Well, you’ll have no luck in getting the hawk to eat fruits! But seriously, I understand your concern. hawks and other predators quickly learn to stake out feeding stations as places for an easy meal. It’s just an extension of hat they do in the wild….patrolling areas where their prey will congregate to feed or breed. Birds habituated to people, or hand raised, are far easier targets than those living in undisturbed areas, so the hawks’ hunting success will be higher, hence they stay and learn to frequent similar areas. There’s no effective way to dissuade the hawk from hunting there; if you cease feeding the birds, or startle them when they appear, they will eventually move off; sorry, but this is the best option, Frank

  54. avatar

    hi Frank,
    Thank you so much… yes,i have stopped feeding the birds and also scare them away when they come.Saw a lot of hawks and tried to shoo them away… i noticed that once the Sun in full, they do not appear.Will keep a close watch for a few days.For now, my baby and those two wild babies are good. 🙂 Thank you so much. And William, great to know your baby flaps its wings sticking its tongue out ! haha.. it is a cute and a lovely behavior that my baby also display when happy 😀 All the best !
    Warm Regards.

  55. avatar

    Thanks for the kind words and feedback…I hope all works out. best regards, Frank

  56. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    I wanted to know what invokes aggression in bulbuls. Today I was talking to my mom on phone and my bulbul was sitting on my hand with which i held my phone..she was constantly making a sweet squeak..i kept talking to my mom and ignored her.. suddenly she attacked my eyes and hands..and then she kept biting my hands for an hour ! 🙁 She has never done this in entire 6 months ! This is quite a scary behavior as she attacked my eyes,nose ..her scratches on me bled a little.. is she lonely/depressed/needs a companion ? or she doesn’t like being ignored ? Please advise..I’m worried for my baby.

  57. avatar


    Unfortunately it’s difficult to draw conclusions about the behavior of captive raised birds, as it does not often resemble what would occur in the wild. Hormonal changes as the bird matures can cause frustrated mating or territorial behavior, and aggression, but as the bird lacks normal outlets it sometimes behaves in ways that are hard to understand – attacks, stereotypical behavior in cage, feather plucking etc. We see this more commonly in parrots and other highly social species, but I’ve known it also to occur in species ranging from birds of prey to birds of paradise, Unfortunately, such birds do not often accept mates….pairing can be tried, but one must often keep the bird alone and just try to work around the behaviors..feeding a favorite treat, esp live insects, may divert the bird if it is injuring itself in a cage. of course, the bird should not be allowed to injure anyone, as infections from even tiny cuts can be quite serious.

    Best regards, Frank

  58. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    Thank you for your reply… yes her behaviour is unpredictable.. today when she made that sweet squeak, I kissed her and gave her attention..then she started flapping her wings and danced 😛 What makes her mad is inattention and refusing her to touch something that she wants to bite, is what I have noticed… will take care to be more loving to her… and take care of my eyes too 🙂 Thanks a lot Frank… your reply relieves me of all my worries.God bless you for your great work.

    Warm Regards.

  59. avatar

    My pleasure…glad the info was useful. Thanks for the kind words. It’s very good of you to be looking into the bird’s care so carefully. Bulbuls are not commonly kept here in the USA , in zoos or privately, so it’s also niuce for other readers to see your posts.

    Female birds of many species exhibit “begging behavior” to their mates, at which time the male feeds them..part of the courtship process. this may be what you are seeing. You might enjoy this article on an owl that insisted on “feeding” me!

    Best regards, Frank

  60. avatar

    haha… that was so cutee !!! “trying to stuff a mouse into someone’s mouth” ..ROFL… you have an exciting life with these sweet creatures around you 😀
    God bless…

  61. avatar

    Thanks..glad you enjoyed! best regards, Frank

  62. avatar

    Hey Frank, I am very depressed.. my baby Bulbul ‘BuBu’ flew away.It was unfortunate because the parting was painful,for both me and her.I had taken her to the garden for a morning play,had put her on a tree branch to enjoy for some time. She was relaxing there when one of my uncle came.I smiled told him I have brought her to play but she is sitting on the top most branch now.How do I get her down.I think he got overconfident and before asking me he said I’ll bring her down and gave a heavy jerk to the tree.My Bubu got so scared that she flew high… so high that she went and sat on the 5th floor of a building.Another pair of bulbul came to attack her and she started crying… then she flew and flew.. and I kept running after her… she went from one building to another… I was tracing her through her cry.Then at one point… I could’nt hear her voice… and I lost her….. I sat there for a long time… I think once in a while I was hearing her voice.. she was crying and calling out.. but I couldnt track her… Losing hope,I came back.And the entire day me and mom just spent crying… I miss her so badly… she was my best buddy… I feel I have no purpose left in life…there’s such a void in my life now… I’m very worried about her… I’m not sure if she will be able to manage or not.. Today is the second day she is missing and I have not yet traced her…. :’-(

  63. avatar


    Sorry to hear, I’m sure it is a difficult situation. Maybe it will help to know that birds always adjust in time; they may have difficulties at first, but most of what they need to do is internally regulated, and after a short time in the wild they manage just fine. I have seen this in programs where we have tracked released birds via satellite…even those that must hone complicated behaviors, such hunting rodents, adapt it time.

    Best regards, Frank

  64. avatar

    Six months back we found one abandon bulbul on 3rd November 2012 and not sure of what family it was but picked up and got to our place. The day he/she (not sure of how to identify the same) was found we think he could only be just 10 to 15 days old a small tail and small feathers.

    1. How to identify gender?
    2. What to feed them generally as they are growing? He eats normally what we eat In fruits – Custard apple is the most that he loves, then grapes, Mango, Banana, Apple apart from fruits chapatti, Rice (dal rice) even for that matter he/she drinks tea.
    3. Looking for a companion so that he/she don’t feel lonely.
    4. What precautions need to be taken during rainy season and do we need to take him to a vet doc?

  65. avatar


    The sexes are identical; behavioral differences show up during the breeding season, but it’s not possible to sex them visually.

    I’ve always provided them with a good deal of protein, as they feed heavily upon insects in the wild; please see the notes under “Diet” in the article and let me know if you need further info.

    Wild caught birds generally carry parasites, even if they appear well; these are not always a concern, but a vet visit is advisable.

    best regards, Frank

  66. avatar

    Thanks Frank,

  67. avatar
    William Alphonso

    Hello Frank,
    Good advise regarding taking the bulbul to a vet, and about the sex of the bulbul, as you said, it’s not possible to tell. However, I’ve noticed that my almost adult bulbul has feet that are thin & weak looking, and the bird layed a fake egg. So, I’m sure that mine is a female. Female bulbuls are usually smaller than male, but then the comparision is needed, but there’s no guarantee! Bulbuls are very friendly birds. My bulbul just loves to have me near her cage, and starts flapping her wings by sticking her tongue out! So sweet, the way they express their happiness.

  68. avatar

    Thanks for the observations and info, William,

    Enjoy, Frank

  69. avatar

    My pleasure; I hope all goes well. Please let me know how your bird progresses, and what foods have been useful, Best, Frank

  70. avatar

    Hi, I have 3 baby bulbuls feathers grown, would like to know the gender,how would u come to know male or female,will two of them form a pair, thy have just started getting a red vent, I heard tht only one remains in a cage ,and never form a pair and they start fighting later.I also want to train thm on my hand but they tend to eat food on my finger and then go in
    d cage or above it, one of them the tail has grown but the other two seems to be falling.basicy I want 2 keep a pair and the other I will give a friend can’t leave them as I seen thm being killed by crows and cats b4 can’t take a chance .also egg do we feed d yellow or the white

  71. avatar


    The sexes are identical; their behavior will change during the breeding season, but otherwise it is not possible to distinguish males from females. The yolk and white of hard-boiled eggs can be given to them. Enjoy, best, Frank

  72. avatar

    Thanks, will two of them form a pair in d cage if male n female, I heard tht only one remains in a cage is it true and thy never form a pair in d cage and they start fighting later.how do we train thm with strings on d finger, do thy fight if more than 1 kept in a cage

  73. avatar


    Captives react very differently than wild birds…same sex pairs may form, but other times males/females will fight, esp if both are not in breeding condition at the same time. Birds raised alone (many species) often bond to people and then reject others of their own kind – a great horned owl we raised (male) was terrifies of female owls, but tried to “court” his keepers by offering us mice! Difficult to predict, unfortunately,..keep an eye on them, although you won’t have trouble until they mature. Not sure what you mean by “string”,

    Best, Frank

  74. avatar

    Hey frank thanks,by string I mean thread like sewing thread. Bulbuls were kept as pet by thread wich was tied from there legs to the owners hand or thumb or on a perch

  75. avatar

    Hi Roman,

    I don’t have any experience with that, have not seen it done and would not recommend; too many ops for injury, escape, etc., I would think. If bird is hand raised, it will likely remain quite tame as it matures if contact is kept up, best, Frank

  76. avatar

    Thanks. Frank,I’m not goin to try the thread thingy just wanted to knw how its done for my info,my birds are getting tamded they are sitting on my sholders playing with my ear and hair,how do I train then to b mostly on my hand on d pointer finger,thy generaly just eat food from my hand and fly from my finger to d cage, how do i Keep thm on my finger for a long periong of time, tried food but thy eat and jump up to d cage and don’t remain on d finger

  77. avatar

    Hi Roman,

    It is mainly food that keeps their interest; they don’t generally crave attention as might a hand-raised parrot. They may spend longer time as they get older, and are more accustomed to being handled, but ther’s no real way to change their basic nature,

    Enjoy, best, Frank

  78. avatar

    thanks frank,I realised 1 thing if I put thm on my finger and take thm away from the cage thy are fine and sit till u get thm close to d cage,these birds are great.since I got 3 of thm and a friend is behind me for one I can’t figure out wich one to give as I can’t make out a male n female,two have lost tail feathers and one is grown well with tail feather,which two u suggest to keep, also noticed d once with out tail feathers are mostly together

  79. avatar

    Hi Roman,

    I’d stay with the 2 that seem to stay together, although that’s no guarantee of a pair, or that they will get along once they mature, Enjoy, Frank

  80. avatar

    Thank u frank

  81. avatar

    My pleasure, Roman…good luck and pl let me know how all goes, Frank

  82. avatar

    Hi,frank.I gave the smallest to my friend,now I have 2bulbuls kept one which had a tail and one wihich lost its tail but is bigger than the one with the tail,thy are so far sitting to gether,however I have notices a slight patch with out feathers near the eye on one and feathers on the wing seems 2 be scanty, I’m giving thm vitimin syrup 1drop each after 12hours as suggested by my vet,boiled egges,banana,mango,rice,ceralac,boiled patatoes,and indian chick peas.what could be d reason for this patch.

  83. avatar

    Hi Roma,

    feather growth can be erratic on captive diets, but usually not a concern; a number of problems can cause feather loss..mites, etc., but there would usually be other symptoms, and your vet would be able-to ID right away, best, Frank

  84. avatar

    thanks frank , wil visit the vet shortly

  85. avatar

    hi frank,ok i took them to the vet,said there feathers were not shiny needed vitimins and to give them fruits ,he gave some drops which are used for puppys and kittens to put in there bawl of water …every thing else fine

  86. avatar

    I hope all goes well, pl keep me posted, Frank

  87. avatar

    sure will keep u posted thanks for ur help tc god bless

  88. avatar

    So glad I found your blog. We have a 15 year old Red-vented Bulbul. She was a found abandoned and raised from a little baby chick. I am hoping you can help us. Her feet are now covered with thick skin-like growth. I tried to soften and remove it with olive oil. But it doesn’t seem to be helping. She no longer wants to perch. She sits on the bottom of her cage instead. Do you know if this is an aging process? Is there anything we can do to help her? Her appetite has also diminished. Thank you!

  89. avatar

    Hi Esther,

    Quite a longevity record…longer than any I’ve encountered in zoos. Mites can cause some of the symptoms you describe (please see this article), but there’s no way to accurately diagnose the ailment without a vet visit; pl let me know if you need help in locating an avian vet. Best, Frank

  90. avatar

    Hi Frank:
    Yes, she has had the good life.
    If you know a good avian vet in our area, please let me know. I thought it might be mites but our birds legs are thick and smooth, not crusty. I appreciate you advice.
    Thank you,

  91. avatar

    Hi Esther…I’m quite sure! Are you in Hawaii?…I do not have direct contacts, but I do have a list of avian vets in most or all statres, pl let me know, best, Frank

  92. avatar

    Good morning Frank. Yes, I am in Hawaii…Oahu. Mahalo!
    Take care,

  93. avatar

    Hi Esther,

    Please see this list (Ass. of Avian Vets) Hawaii; ask for a referral if none are convenient; it’s a relatively small field, most will know of another vet who treats birds, best, Frank

  94. avatar

    Hi again Frank. Thanks so much. I did find an avian vet close by and we have an appt.
    Take care!

  95. avatar

    My pleasure…I’m interested to hear how all goes, pl keep me posted, good luck, Frank

  96. avatar

    Aloha Frank:
    The vet saw our pet yesterday. He does think it is mites and he gave her the first treatment. We also have to spray the cages and surrounding areas. It may have been wild birds visiting our lanai that caused this problem. He says her legs may get back to normal but it will take a long time. He too was amazed at her age. Overall she was in good health for an elderly lady. Question: Could I use Neem oil instead of the spray the vet recommended, to kill the mites? I’d rather use something other than a harmful chemical. Mahalo nui loa for your help!

  97. avatar

    I’d stay with what the vet recommended…other treatments sound good on paper, but rarely do the job on these tenacious parasites. Just be sure to follow guidelines re your own exposure. I hope all goes well, best, Frank

  98. avatar

    hey franks,my bulbuls are doing great so far they still sit together. some times they tend to fight by pecking each other any reason why? they havent got the red vent yet,may be thy are maturing

  99. avatar

    Hi Roman,

    They squabble quite a bit, in cages and wild, usually not a problem unless one chases other , stresses it,. Close quarters can worsen fighting, and all may change as they mature…fighting can occur if one of a pair is ready to breed and the other is not, etc. Enjoy, Best, Frank

  100. avatar

    hi my bulbul have some kind of disease on his feet he can’t stand he keep sitting i don’t know what to do is there any way you can help me????i can send you pic of my bulbul feet if you want….

  101. avatar

    Hello Amna,

    Unfortunately it’s not possible to diagnose this problem via photo, as many conditions will elicit the same symptoms. A vet visit would be your best option, pl let me know if you need any other info, best, Frank

  102. avatar

    how long bulbul live???

  103. avatar

    my bulbul is almost 8 years old

  104. avatar


    One reader ecently wrote in that her bulbul is now 15 years of age…that is the oldest I know of, either in a zoo or a private collection.

  105. avatar

    hello, can you please help me. my bulbul’s feet has turned. the back thumb has turned in front. his legs have swollen or it also looks like something has grown on his legs and feet. the skin at the bottom of his feet has also increased and his fur has also fallen. he also doesn’t move now. and it looks like he is in alot of pain. cloud you help me!

  106. avatar

    Hello Sarah,

    Unfortunately it’s not possible to diagnose the condition voa a description of symptoms; the bird will need veterinary attention. Please let me know if you need help in locating an avian vet, Best, Frank

  107. avatar

    Thanks Frank, but I live in Pakistan and there are hospitals for animals but not for birds like bulbul. I did some research online and I think my bulbul might have mites. What do you think about that.

  108. avatar

    hi sir

    3 baby red vented bulbul is in home and they are ready to fly today but wt happened, 2 got up with crow and 1 is actually live i catched it put in my lovebirds cage i don know wt to do, the parent cant defend with crow here what can i do quick response please

  109. avatar


    Unfortunately there’s not much to be done other than releasing the bird at a time when no crows are about; young bulbuls have a great many enemies, and most are taken by predators before they reach adulthood,

    Best, Frank

  110. avatar

    hey sanjeev becareful crows and cats are the worst. ive seen thm feasting on these poor birds,i have two couldnt leave thm in the wild as i was scared of crows, u can keep it as a pet thy are real good birds and if kept alone thy get trained very well,were do you live…… thanks frank for ur advice…..i see that the smaller bulbul has now started looking bigger than the other tail feathers have grown,i hope its a pair as one is slimmer than the other thy have learnt the yankee doodle whistle hahahahaha

  111. avatar

    sanjeev please let me know if you are looking for someone to adopt the bul bul

  112. avatar

    Dear frank… I have got a bulbul egg.. I had a nest in my room and two eggs were down on the floor after few days… There is one left and the parents havent got back since two days… What should i do with the egg? I want this poor soul inside the egg to live… Im not sure of what to do… Please help…

  113. avatar


    Your concern is admirable, but unfortunately there is not much that can be done. If the parents tossed the eggs, they and the one left in the nest are likely infertile, and will not hatch. Even if the remaining egg were fertile, it would not likely have survived 2 days w/o incubation. Bulbul eggs can be hatched in commercial incubators, but the young are quite difficult to raise by hand. Sorry I could not offer a more promising reply, best, Frank

  114. avatar

    hi frank,
    my bulbuls are doing well here are some differences i noticed in the 2 of them
    1- one looks bigger than the other
    2- the smaller one goes into the bawl of water fully to get wet but the bigger one just sits on the bawl and flaps its feathers to get wet
    3- mostly i see the bigger one doing a kind of a begging thingy with feathers flaping gently and a funny sounds close to the smaller one
    4-the bigger one pecks the smaller one sometimes like a fight and the small one just flys around then then the fight stops
    5-the bigger one looks a little fater than the smaller one
    6-when they are calm they sit together even at night they are sitting together
    7-the chest of the smaller one looks like in the picture in the start of this page however the bigger one is still forming(cant describe how it looks but not the same)

  115. avatar

    he frank,
    my bulbuls are doing great hope they turn out to be a pair its been almost 3months i have them here are a few differences i noticed
    1-one is bigger than the other
    2-the bigger one looks a little fat than the smaller one
    3-smaller one goes inside the bawl of water to wet its self fully while the bigger just sits on the bawl flaps its feathers but never goes inside the bawl of water to wet it self fully
    4-bigger one when close to the smaller one does a kind of a begging be haviour with a funny sound and feathers flapping gently
    5-sometime the bigger one pecks the smaller one and the smaller ones jumps around the cage this seems like a fight but the smaller never fights back
    6-the chest of the smaller one seem like the bulbul in the picture at the start of this page but the smaller is different(cant explain how,but feathers on the chest of the bigger dont have the white border)
    5-when calm they sit together closely even at night they sit together

    is there anyway with these difference to find out the male and female ,just dont want them to fight

  116. avatar

    Hi Roman,

    Thanks for your observations.

    Begging behavior is used by females, in order to gain male’s attention, form a pair bond, etc. Youngsters also do this for a time after leaving the nest, when parents aree still feeding them. However, captivity changes everything…same sex pair bonds can form, males and females may fight while 2 other males may get along, etc. Because conditions are artificial, normal development of breeding behavior may not occur. Since you are being so observant, you’ll notice problems early I’m sure, But hopefully all will continue to go well.

    Pl keep me posted, best, Frank

  117. avatar

    I have a pair of yellow vented bulbul chicks. They have been with me for abt 2 weeks. One is doing very well. The other one refuses to stand and walk abt. Has got poor growth. And does not eat too well. Always rests its head on the floor. Keeps its eyes closed most of the time. Is there anything wrong? Anything I can do to improve it? I feed both mealworms and fruit juice with protein drops.

  118. avatar


    Unfortunately its not possible to diagnose without a vet exam…injury from a fall from nest, trauma, various infections can all elicit those symptoms. best, Frank.

  119. avatar
    William Alphonso

    Dear Frank,
    A lot of people love bulbuls but here’s some advice to them, as per my personal experience & observation. It is better to get weaned birds or else the chances of survival are slim. But, since people find these birds outside their nests helpless or lost somewhere, only experienced or vet persons should deal with it, temporarily until the bird grows a month older, or else it’s death in the waiting in most cases.
    With best wishes,


  120. avatar

    hi frank, the bigger bulbul now seems to be pecking the smaller badly and then it stops,thy perch and sleep together thou how can i stop this fighting in the cage the smaller doest fight babks just keeps jumping around in the cage

  121. avatar

    Hello Roman,

    Unfortunately it will not likely stop, and long term the stress will cause health problems; best to split them. You can try a slow reintroduction in the future..place 2 cages near each other et. Age/ changing seasons sometimes affects hormones and changes behavior, but plan on keeping apart.

    Sorry I could not offer a more promising outlook, best, frank

  122. avatar

    hi franks,thy are in the cage once thy start fighting i leave them out to fly around it seems to be helping, had a question…. is there any idea or way to put a colored ring or something around there legs ,since they have started flying outside my house and coming back on my palm or on the cage, a bulbul form the wild comes to visit as well,the ring on the legs will help me reconize which bird is mine

  123. avatar

    Hi Roman,

    Plastic and metal bird bands are used to Identify zoo birds and wild ones that are being studied. Bands must be sized properly..if too large they can slip and hook over toes or catch on foliage; if too small constriction and loss of leg is a possibility. Except when I was a child (see this article), I’ve only used professional bands (see photos). I wouldn’t recommend trying to use anything else. Parrot and pigeon breeders usually band their birds, as do birding clubs involved in studies..perhaps you can get some assistance from such people nearby?

  124. avatar

    Hi Roman,

    Your welcome….I look forward to hearing how all goes. Good luck and enjoy, Frank

  125. avatar

    Hello Frank,
    Great site you have. Thank you for helping so many of us.
    Found a baby bird in the apartment driveway. Fearing it might be harmed by cars or cats, I brought it up intending to care for it and later release. At first I thought it was a mynah. At this point, I believe it is a black bulbul (no red butt feathers still, full wing and tail feathers with small fluffy feathers on body). It can eat (a mix of moist fruit, boiled egg pieces and breadcrumbs) and drink water from a feeder cup in the cage. Pecks at cage bar corners, any dark spec, as if hunting for food. Approx every two-three hours, still opens wide to accept balled food. Sits on top of its cage or on a stick placed at the opened cage door. Flies down to sit on me every so often–the small cage is on a bookshelf over my desk. Ok, all that said, I now discover that bulbuls are an invasive species in Hawaii that does a lot of damage. There appear to be laws that may disallow a release! Also, per your blog, it seems the bird may not fare well if released (he can fly for short distances: 6 tp 10 feet). What have I done to the bird?! Am not inclined to have a permanent new friend. Would appreciate your thoughts and guidance. Thank you!

  126. avatar


    Thanks for the kind words. It would be best to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator; several in Hawaii, some specializing in non-native birds, are listed here. Call even if not local, as most have lists of other rehabbers who may be able to help out. I hope all goes well, please keep me posted, Frank

  127. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    My Mum received some baby red-vented bulbuls as I had requested my friend, who brought them from his village a few days ago. Unfortunately, my Mum would not be able to take very good care of them in India while I’m in Kuwait. So, can you please mention some ‘survival’ food for the young birds. I believe they can eat by themselves as my friend initially hand fed them for two weeks or so. Now, I’m worried about them and want to advise my Mum to keep ground & powdered roased dry chick peas in the food bowl and provide fresh water regularly. Also, she will give them ripe banana regularly. If case she goes out (for a holiday or visiting far away relatives) for 2 – 4 days or more, can you suggest something with ‘good & lasting water content’ and not easily perishable food (I used to keep fresh tender corn for my late African Grey Parrot, and it did the job for 3 – 4 days). I’m basically concerned about providing ‘water’ to the bird in any form, that it will somehow suck, peck or drink). Dry food is not an issue but lack of water will cause death to the birds within 24 hours. Kindly, urgently advise what’s to be done. I’m unable to contact my mother now, but I simply hope that the birds are alright. I just keep on praying!!!

    Yours faithfully,


  128. avatar

    Hi William,

    Orange, papaya, mango, grapes and similar fruits have a high water content…if cut in half birds will consume. Oranges tend to spoil less quickly than others, as I recall. I’m not sue if this would provide enough for the birds, however…safer to provide several water bowls, or a large one. Best regards, Frank

  129. avatar

    Dear Frank,

    Here I am, back again with SAD NEWS! My mother received two baby red-vented bulbuls from my friend as I had begged for them. He hand-fed them until they were feeding by themselves. Just yesterday, after browsing the internet, I thought of giving my mother more tips on bulbul care, and phone-called my mother in India (as I’m in Kuwait), and heard that the birds had died! I was shocked! Can you kindly tell me if these approx. 1 month old birds had to be fed with fresh food several times a day. I’ve asked my friend to investigate this matter, and I’m waiting for his reply. Meanwhile, could say something?

  130. avatar

    Hello Frank, your article and discussion here is great. it has provided me with very useful information. i have a bulbul that i rescued from my courtyard. its parents were flying around that day and they kept coming every day to visit him/her. but two weeks later when i released it. it didnt go near its parents nor did they come any closer. now they don’t come any more. may be they think their baby is safe with me.
    i need to ask u two things
    1. how can i know its gender? ( i want to purchase a spouse for him.)
    2. my bird scratches its head and chin/jaw a lot. also its body is very dry and white flakes are produced when it scratches its body. whats wrong here?
    please guide.
    BEst Wishes

  131. avatar

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated.

    The sexes are identical..behavior can be a clue, esp. in the breeding season, but there’s no way to ID them visually. Always best to have 2 cages available when trying to introduce new birds, in case they fight.

    The skin condition etc can be related to low humidity levels; try misting the bird with water daily; a feather/skin conditioner may be useful also. Be sure a bathing bowl is available. Nutrition plays an important role…they need a variety of foods, including various insects, boiled eggs, etc. Many parasites will also cause those symptoms…sice the bird was wild-caught, it is very likely to be hosting parasites. A vet check would be your best option. Please let me know if you need further info, Best, Frank

  132. avatar

    Hi William,

    Sorry to hear your news, but there’s really know way to predict what may have happened. No matter how vigorous the birds may have seemed, this period of their lives is when they are most susceptible to a wide variety of diseases, parasites and other health concerns. Even under ideal circumstances, in zoos, losses are high. Parasites may live internally for months without causing symptoms, yet become fatal over time, for example. Without a complete vet check early on, there’s no way to say which of several hundred possibilities could have been involved. Sorry I could not be of more help, best, Frank

  133. avatar

    Thanks a lot Frank. i am grateful to you. By the way i applied my skin moisturizer lotion to the bird, since bird care products are not available in my city.

  134. avatar

    Hi Daniel,

    My pleasure. I would focus on raising humidity, dietary variety and bathing opportunities…human skin care products may not be appropriate for birds – very different internal anatomies, etc. Please keep me posted, best, Frank.

  135. avatar

    Dear Frank

    I had written to you in 2011 about my red-vent and had feather issues with him. That little bird stoled the heart right out of my chest. Unfortunately he passed away from a drowning incident a few months back. I have rehabed and released many other wild bird and have have a few other birds that I care for but I have not ever found another bird as amazing as the red-vented bulbul. When we lived in hawaii they were easy to come by but since moving to California I have not found any that are available. Do you know of a good breeder? I can travel to get one I just dont know where to go. Could you recommend a place that I could find another little bulbul? You have been amazing with all the info on these guys. There is very little info out there on them. If people knew how wonderful these guys are I think that they would become the golden retriever of bird owners! Thank you for all the help you give on educating people on these beautiful little birds!!
    Thank you

  136. avatar

    Hello Kerry,

    Yes, I remember; sorry to hear the news.

    The sites linked below are the largest I know of (no contact with breeders myself, sorry); sale of Red-whiskered bulbuls is regulated via license or perhaps prohibited outright in CA; I’m not sure about other species but look into that. I believe you can post “wanted” ads on the sites, or put in special orders.

    Please keep me posted, good luck, frank



  137. avatar

    Thank you frank..
    I will start there!!

  138. avatar

    Let me know how all goes…I’ll keep an eye out also, good luck, Frank

  139. avatar

    Hey Frank,
    So the birds express store stopped carrying them a while back. 🙁 but I have been looking on softbillsforsale.com for a while and each time can’t seem to get to them in time. If you run across anyone looking to re home one or for rescue ie babies or injured please let me know! I have an excellent vet here in San Diego that takes care of all of my rescues and I would be more than happy to assume the responsibilities of that. Any species of BULBUL’S I am not picky.. thanks for any info you have to share!
    Kerry Campbell

  140. avatar

    Hello Kerry,

    I apologize for the delay…missed your comment due to a system glitch.

    I’ll keep your info on hand and will let you know if any come my way, best, Frank

  141. avatar

    Hye Frank,

    I just rescued a Bulbul baby bird 2 weeks ago as it falls of a tree . I tried to put it back but the nest was totally destroyed by the wind and it looks like the mother has abandone it. I took it to a pet store and they recommended bird food mixed with water. It was fine at first, but now it seems like it cannot stand up. it moves around using its wing and which makes me sad. Is there any remedy that you can offer?

  142. avatar

    Hello Nabilah,

    Unfortunately, birds that fall from nests are often left with broken bones and internal damage that may not be evident until the bird begins to move about. Also, nutritional deficiencies (i.e. low Calcium levels) are common, and because nestlings grow so quickly serious problems arise. There’s no way to identify the problem other than via a veterinary examination…and most often serious problems in nestlings cannot be corrected. It would be best to see if a veterinarian will look at the bird, and euthanize it if that is the only option. Local bird clubs and zoos sometimes have connections to experienced veterinarians, Sorry I could not provide better news, Best regards, Frank

  143. avatar
    William Alphonso

    Birds like bulbuls usually fall off their nests or are chased by other birds like crows, etc. There is always that risk of dying or being eaten up by birds & reptiles of prey. Usually, birds die if they cannot stand up well when they are young. At least, it’s my personal experience. Such a delicate stage of growing up from the time of birth is always frightening, and I’ve usually been disappointed whenever I brought birds that were too young to feed themselves. This is my honest confession to all bird lovers! My advice: Never keep birds that are too young, unless you can take care of them like your own children. I care for my pets as much as I care for my son. Goo luck!!!

  144. avatar

    Hello William,

    thanks for you input, I hope all is well,

    Best regards, Frank

  145. avatar

    Hello Frank,

    I live in Hawaii and two years ago I came across a baby Bulbul in the road after a very windy morning. It was so young that it could hardly lift his head. It was truly a miracle that he survived. As you can imagine, I’ve become vert attached to him and now I’m moving to the mainland and need figure out how I can bring him with me. Would you happen to have any recommendations?

    Thank you so much for your time.


  146. avatar

    Hello Sara,

    I recall corresponding with someone awhile back re this…I’ll check details…what state are you headed to (state regs vary), best, Frank

  147. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for your help with this. I’ll be headed to Washington State.

    Thank you again!


  148. avatar

    Hello Sara,

    I’ll check past correspondence, but I believe import was to Calif. You should be able to check Washington state import regs online, as well as Hawaii’s export regs. Bulbuls are prohibited in some states (Fla, I believe) where they have become established, so check regs for that specific species, best, Frank

  149. avatar

    hey guys, i brought a bulbul to california from oahu.. if you want to feel free to email me and i can tell you what i did to get him here.. My email is kerrycampbell0307@yahoo.com, i would be more than happy to help any bulbul in need!!
    Thanks kerry

  150. avatar

    Thanks very much, Kerry,

    Best, Frank

  151. avatar

    Thank you Frank & Kerry for your help!

  152. avatar

    Good luck and please keep us posted, best regards, Frank

  153. avatar

    Hello Frank,


    I came across your blog and found it really helpful and could understand alot about this sweet bird!!
    I have 3 red vent bulbuls that I rescued 2 days back from a snake; the chicks had fallen off from the nest. I wasn’t able to put them back in the nest as I was afraid the snake might return and secondly the nest was little high. Its first time that I have these 3 baby bulbuls, and I have little query to ask you:-

    1. Its been 2 days as of today, both the parents come, visit and go away; they only come once in a day. But don’t feed the chicks. We have kept them in a open basket in balcony, I want to know if the parents would take care of chicks now or would abandon them.

    2. Secondly, two of the chicks are slightly bigger in size then the third one.It looks like may be a week older, is it possible or is the third one malnutritioned. The third chick, the smaller one has less features than the other two, and it’s features look like pin features. They fall from the nest, and I am hoping they might not have got seriously hurt.

    3. Thirdly, and most important the chicks scratch a lot and something like white flakes fall off, is it their dry skin or something natural due hot weather,the temperature is around 40 C here; or they have some sort of skin infection/ mites??.

    4. Its little difficult to find worms here for me, what can be the replacement for it. Though I am feeding them hard boiled egg, seasonal fruits like mango, papaya and banana. How many times a day should I feed them egg for good in take of protien.

    Please reply soon, as I am really worried about these little creatures.


  154. avatar

    Hello Ritika,

    Thanks for the interesting post and my compliments on your concern and care.

    Parents sometimes return and feed the young if they are left in a basket, etc., but there are many factors that will influence this; most do not return unless the young are well developed, calling etc.

    Dry skin can be either due to low humidity, dehydration or mites. Try moistening the food with some water; spraying with a tiny bit of water may help , as long as they do not become chilled…eve though it is warm, best to use very little, be sure it dries or is absorbed quickly. Wash your hands well after feeding them, and do not let clothes etc come in contact with the birds..some mites are specific to birds, others can transfer to people.

    It’s common for some to lag behind in growth; in natural nests, not all chicks survive in most cases. Unfortunately, internal injuries can be present, but no way to tell w/o a veterinary exam.

    Add protein at each feeding…wild chicks are given insects as their main diet until they put on some size. If a cuttlebone, as is sold for cage birds is available, grind some up into food as a calcium source. Finely-ground eggshells work as well, but need to be powdery in consistency.

    Where are you located?

    I hope all goes well, please keep me posted.

  155. avatar

    Hello Frank,


    Thanks a ton for the advice !! I live in Indore (Central India), India. There is a good news, the chicks are standing on their feet, I am little worried about the 3rd one though I can see a little health progress in the third chick as well 🙂

    There parents have not come today, but the morning dove seems very keen in them, it keeps watching them from distance 🙂


  156. avatar

    Hello Ritika,

    Thanks…must be nice to see these little guys out and about. We have escaped populations of bulbuls breeding here in the USA, but only in the south (Florida, California); but spring birds returning here in NY, lots of singing and nesting. Good luck and please keep me posted, Frank

  157. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    Its so nice to read your blog and the many q’s and a’s here are so helpful. I have a rescued bulbul that i found on the ground in my front yard. There was two of them,but my cat ate the other one before i get to him but i was able to save the other one. I live in india. When he was about a week old n feed him papaya and he waa doing so well and his feathers were growing. But ive noticed in the second week he could not use his left leg. His right one are fine. Ive started giving him grasshopper,banana and grapes. N ive read here that hard boiled eggs are also good. But how often should i give him a day? There are no avian vet in my area. I love him to the core of my heart and i wanted him to survive. I mosly kept him in a shoe box with soft blanket. He sometimes came over to my bed and slept near me through the night. He is now about 4 weeks old. But he also started losing his tail feather which was growing fine in the begining and also started losing some feathers. I would be happy if you could suggest a good diet a day to keep him healthy and to let his feathers grow out again. Other than that,he is an active little fellow. Thanks for the blog. Keep it posted and alive. People like us are grateful for people like you.

  158. avatar

    Hi Frank, I would like to share this info on caring for a baby bulbul and the like. The following info is from Wildbird Rehab Haven of Oahu, Hawaii: http://www.wildbirdrehabhaven.org/Information/how_to_feed_birds.html I urge anyone who finds a baby bird to call them (They are shorthanded so please leave a message):

    BABY BIRD FOOD for Mejiro, Bulbul or Mynah
    (insect/fruit eaters: These birds won’t do well on the straight Harrisons mix)
    1/2 teaspoon Baby bird starter food (mixed with warm water)
    1 Tablespoon Human baby food VEAL
    1 Tablespoon Human baby food FRUITS (Mango/Kiwi, etc.)
    one Egg yolk; cooked and crumbled
    Add fresh fruit juice to dilute
    Suck some up in the eyedropper used to feed the babies. Run under warm water to warm it before feeding. Also you can stab the dropper into fresh fruit to get a chunk of fruit to go along w/the formula listed above.
    You may use a syringe, eyedropper or medicine dropper. These can be purchased at Longs or the vets office or the pet store.
    The food needs to be thick/thin enough to suck up with the feeding tip. If you are giving freshly made food, suck it up in the syringe/eyedropper, wait a few minutes before feeding so it cools to room temp.
    Store the container of mixed food in the refrigerator. Throw the food away at the end of the day and wash and rinse the container in hot water. Wash the syringe/eyedropper with HOT water before each re-filling so no bacteria gets in the container of mixed food. Warm the food to room temperature before feeding by holding it in your hand or run under warm water.
    TO FEED: Teach the little bird to open its mouth by making a certain sound each time you want to feed it.
    Have the syringe/eyedropper ready (filled, at room temp and in your hand) BEFORE you make the sound.
    Only make the sound when you want to feed. This is called conditioning.
    When you first start training the bird to open its’ mouth, try these techniques:
    Open the container and the mouth will open (the parent has arrived).
    Wave your hand over the bird once to simulate the parent returning to the nest… the mouth will open.
    Lightly jiggle the edge of the “nest” to simulate the parents’ arrival.
    Pet the bird to simulate movement/competition with siblings for food.
    Gently and quickly insert the feeding tip into the mouth and press slowly and steadily until the food starts to come out. Not too much. If you give too much the mouth will overflow and then the feathers get sticky. Wipe up with a Kleenex. Give her a little time to swallow, and then do it again until her crop is full. The crop is the sack under her chin on the front of her chest. Usually the baby will keep opening its’ mouth until it is full. Happiness is a full crop. Feed again when the crop is empty or cries become repetitive. After feeding, wipe her beak and surrounding feathers while the food is wet so it doesn’t cake. If there is food on her head, wings, etc. you can roll it clean with a q-tip and warm water.
    Feed her throughout the daylight hours. As you get used to each other the feedings will be bigger (the crop will fill up) and there will be more time between feedings.
    Cover her carrier at night so she can have darkness and rest. Have the heating pad on low for the night.
    Like all babies she thrives on touch. At least once during the day or evening put some tissue on your lap and put her there and cover her with your hand. She’ll move around and maybe preen while she is there. She may sleep. It warms her and warms her heart.
    Change the tissues each time she soils. If there is caked-on soil, use warm water and a q-tip and roll it on the dirty feathers until it’s clean. Make sure she stays warm.

  159. avatar

    Hi Frank, I also wanted to add that there are several avian vets here on Oahu as I saw some earlier posts requesting such information. You can find a list on the Wildbird Rehab haven website or you can simply do a yelp search (I’m not sure if I’m allow to list them here). I also want to add that bulbuls are considered an invasive species here in Hawaii. If you hand it over to an avian vet, they are obligated to euthanize (my vet was very honest about this). They are not mandated to confiscate your bird as long as you assume full responsibility as its owner (and never set it back into the wild). The vets will treat it if you assume full financial responsibility.

    Thank you so much for your site, Frank. It’s been very helpful to me. In addition to the food recipe from the wildbird rehab, your site contains a wealth of useful information. I do have one question regarding long term food for my now imprinted bulbul (who also can’t fly well due to a broken wing). You recommended a high-quality insectivorous bird food but I’m having trouble finding any on this island. I ran a search online and found Blessings Bugs-N-Fruit Low iron insectivore diet. Will this be suitable for my now one month old bulbul (and for the long term)?

    Thank you in advance. I eagerly await your response.


  160. avatar

    Much appreciated!….great info; I’ll pass along here and on other posts as well, best Frank

  161. avatar

    Hello Kin,

    Thanks for the kind words! you can post links to vets etc. if you wish.

    The food you mention looks to be fine, but I’ve not used it. You can also mix in some ground chop meat, egg or cottage cheese (this last not used much today, but an “old-timer’s” staple and very useful) into a typical softbill diet, such as softbill select. Check local finch / softbill interest groups if you’ve not as well, they often have useful leads and sources. let me know if you need anything, pl keep me posted, best, Frank

  162. avatar


    Thanks for the kind words, much appreciated.

    Egg can be mixed in daily if you wish, or alternated with other protein sources…insects, ground cooked meat, etc.

    Leg injuries often occur when birds fall from the nest, but may not be obvious until bones begin to grow. Most adjust and get by well using the strong leg. Calcium is impt for bones and general health. Human baby food can be a useful source, or you can mix finely ground cuttlecone, sold for use with finches and other cage birds, if available.

    Feather loss can be related to nutrition, or external parasites (bird lice etc)…unfortunately difficult to diagnose w/o a veterinarian. Please see Kin’s response re diet, perhaps some human baby food will add useful nutrients. Try also searching for local or in-country bird clubs, bird rehabilitation centers on line, as they may be able to advise as to locally-available foods, calcium sources, etc.

    I hope all goes well, best, frank

  163. avatar

    Dear Frank,
    Thank you so much for the reply and for the many information that you have given. I tried giving hard boiled eggs to my bulbul but she is not taking it. I guess she doesnt like it. I now gave her small insects mixed with fruits. Her tail started growing a little. She is not using her legs and flap around on the ground using her wings. But she had no difficulty in perching and i take that as a good sign. And i have a big surprise. A friend of a friend found a baby swallow bird on the ground this evening i.e 13th may 2014 around 3 pm (indian time). As an animal lover as i am (i take care of orphan and abandon animals in my area) she suggested that i took it in because the family was trying to kill the helpless lil fellow. So i went and took it. Its feather and tail are fully grown but she is not perching or chirping and havent eat anything till now from evening when they found iy (its 11.30 pm). I made a cotton ball nest in a shoe box and it is now sleeping. It ia not opening its mouth either. I did a little research on the breed on google and finds that they feed on mostly insect. It would be a real help if you could give me some advice on the feeding area. How to make it open its mouth,how to socialise it with my bulbul,how to take care of the bird in general. The bulbul is the first bird ive ever take care of and im pretty lost here. I will send pictures of the swallow bird if you wish to see it. Its so cute and fluffy :). Thanks again so much.

  164. avatar

    Dear Frank,
    I just want to left a message again that my bulbul Angel strated flying little distances today morning. I feel so proud like a mother in awe watching her baby takes the firat step. Her legs are completely healed. Thank you so much for the advice on the diet. And also,i manage to feed my swallow too. Its a good day. But the swallow is not using his legs yet. But im praying and hoping for the best. Lots of love from India.

  165. avatar

    How nice to hear…good work! Swallows can be tougher, highly insectivorous, so it’s comendable that you are doing well with that bird. Except for the various bank swallows, which dig long tunnels, most swallows do not walk very much – seems like they traded amazing flying abilities for leg strength! So perhaps you will see less evidence of that bird trying to move about.

    Please keeep me posted, good luck, Frank

  166. avatar

    Sorry, I answered your later email before seeing this one. You might try mixing the egg with other foods in small amounts, increasing slowly. Yes, swallows feed entirely on insects…meat/egg okat, but they should not be given fruit. Not much info on rearing them, so be sure to keep notes. Adults are hard to keep, even in zoos, as they tend to specialize in small, flying insects – need huge quantities and rarely feed from a bowl; most drink on the wing. Lives a very different lifestyle from the bulbul, so probably not useful to keep together; hopefully it will be releasable.

    Lots of work for you, but sounds like you are up to it…enjoy, Frank

  167. avatar

    Dear Frank,
    I am in pain. My bulbul was sleeping and i kept the swallow bird in a shoe box. I went out in the kitchen to get their food and closed my bedroom door but did not locked it. I dont know how but the door was open and my cat was there,attacking both of them! I managed to save the bulbul but i lost the swallow. He died in the night. My bulbul had a large wound on her back. I give lil human baby painkiller to her but she would not eat anything,just water from 9 lastnight,after the attack and till this morning. What should i do? There are no avain vets here. And she cannot use both legs. Seems like she is in a lot of pain. Making clacking sound while sleeping. Please advice on what to do.

  168. avatar


    Sorry to hear of your misfortune…happens,. often, unfortunately..cats know where they are and are very patient. I wouldn’t give any more pain killer (internally) – no real way to predict effects – systems vary greatly from ours. There’s nothing you can do, sadly, other than to keep the bird as comfortable as you are able, and try feeding and water. Human antibiotic cream on the wound will do no harm, but infections etc are very common after cat attacks. Sorry I could not provide a brighter outlook, best regards, frank

  169. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    Thank you so much for the quick reply. I cant help but blamed myself for what happen. I was careful the attacked would not happened. I feel so irresponsible. Angel (my bulbul) is still with me. She eats some insects and papaya throughout the day. I made a nest for her with a soft blanket and put her there. But she tries to get out and flap her wings so much that i let her sleep with me through the night. She even calls me today when i enter the room to feed her. She is such a fighter. I constantly tells her to be strong and to not give up. I am so pround of her. Remember her in your prayers. I will never let anything or anyone hurt her again.

  170. avatar

    I’m glad to hear that the bird is feeding, good sign.. Trust me, we all make mistakes,…I’ve been at this 50+ years, and have made worse…some of which almost got me killed! I hope all goes well, Frank

  171. avatar

    Dear Frank
    Thank you for listening and for the kind words,great advice and for sharing your experiences. Sadly, my Angel passed away this evening around 4. I held her as she took her last breath. She was weak today. It was raining and it was a cold day. She was still eating fine till the last hours of her life. I took a closer look at the wound and shocked so see that her tiny body was almost all swollen up. I feared that she might be having a fever so i microwave the blanket to heat it up and covered her with it. I put her beside me and slept with her the whole day. She call me once and make no calling sound after that. she just open her mouth without a sound when she needed water so i made sure that she knows i was there every second. I feel that was the last thing i could do for her. To let her know that i was there when she needed me and that she is loved so much. I buried her with Bimbo (my swalow) side by side next to my dog grave.

    I miss her so much. I could see and hear her voice everywhere. I couldnt sleep in my room tonight because i cant bring myself to the reality that it is now so quiet without her. I cant bear to enter the room and not see her flying to me, or calling me as soon as i enter. She was even taking a bath for the first time the day of the attacked. She was so full of life that day and i even took videos and pictures of her bathing and moving around.

    My room was the only home she knew. It was her safe place and i let her down. And there was so little i could do for her to make her pain go away. She was so little yet so full of life; so tiny yet so happy. She gave me so much joy and happiness and i cant describe how much love she gave me and how much love i have for her. I will celebrate her life and will continue to help abandoned or sick or orphaned animals who needs my help in anyway i could. She will always be in my heart. I never though i could love an animal so much. I had two dogs, four cats and a pig with me,all of whom are rescued,orphaned and abandoned. Yet,i had a special bond with Angel and i feel a different kind of love for her which i did not feel with my other pets. Its like having goosebumps and your knees feel weak when you’re with someone you love. I feel that way for Angel. And im not sure when i’l feel ok but im happy that i was with her and i met her in this life even though its short and brief. She gives me something so precious that no one else will undertand, that feeling of loving someone so much you feel your heart will burst.
    She was such a wonderful bird.

    I wish you all the best in life and my prayers goes out to all the animals you’ve cared for and still caring. Whoever they might be. Thank you so much again for everything.


  172. avatar

    a red whiskered bulbul chick fell from its next into my balcony 2 days ago..i have been feeding it proteins with a dropper. today i have been trying to feed it, but its not opening its mouth.please advise me on how to make it feed.

  173. avatar


    Thanks for the kind words and sorry to hear the bad news. Once an infection takes hold, it’s very difficult to treat, even in zoos with experienced veterinarians. Also, hand-reared birds that fall from the nest tend to have immune system difficulties due to the unnatural diet etc., and so are generally more likely to become ill. While the attack was a factor, of course, apparently healthy hand-reared birds often die even after doing quite well…a very difficult situation; losses are very common when one takes in injured abandoned animals of any kind, no way around that, unfortunately. Best wishes and good luck with all, Frank

  174. avatar


    They are more likely to take small insects, bits of hard-boiled egg, cooked ground meat etc. However, birds that fall from nests often have internal injuries and, unfortunately, losses are high. Best regards, Frank

  175. avatar

    Hi Frank
    I am glad I came across ur blog while I was looking for rearing of Indian bulbuls, outside my living room a pair has built a nest ,now there are 2 chicks about 7 days old and I was on the net to see about their diet in case of any eventuality. You mentioned about cooked ground meat

  176. avatar

    Hi frank
    I got disconnected ,I was mentioning about the diet of bulbul chicks ,is it possible to rear them with cerelac power formula one ,which is used for human babies? I have reared love birds and finches with the formula right from 6 day onwards successfully,the reason for the question is that we do not have the facility for a avian vet or avian commercial food .I am from north India

  177. avatar

    Hello Ravi,

    It might be possible to use a a base diet, but bulbul chicks have much higher protein requirements than finches, lovebirds; I would add ground cooked meat, hard-boiled egg and insects if available. best regards, Frank

  178. avatar

    Hi frank

    I have a pair of red vent bulbul. I am trying to pair them to breed and placed a canary nest for them. I have not seen any development on the same. I don’t know to check which one is is the mail. If you can advice me the breeding habits


  179. avatar


    Unfortunately the sexes are very similar..the only sure way to ID is via breeding behavior. Once a pair bonds, they may breed at almost any season, with up to three clutches each year. Large cages or outdoor aviaries are ideal, but not absolutely necessary. They may just need time to settle in,assuming you have a pair. Best, Frank

  180. avatar

    Hi frank..
    You alway have good ideas and was wondering if I could pi k your brain. So I just got a new baby and he is doing wonderful, when I am home he spends most of his time out of his cage or in one of his many cages threw the house. . But I am getting ready to go to Hawaii for 4 days and he is staying here in California. I have a sitter coming to stay at the house. But since he is still just a baby (9 weeks) I don’t really trust him. The sitter is not very experienced with birds so I need to keep him occupied. My last red vent was paranoid of toys and preferred to be on me 24/7 and this little guy is headed the same way. I want him to not be bored and the only toy I have found for softbills is a little box with a hole w colorful paper ribbons inside. Do you have any ideas on what we all could use for toys.? I couldn’t find any ideas online because as most of us softbill people know, the pet world caters to the hook bill. Any thoughts?
    Thanks a million

  181. avatar

    Hi frank..
    You alway have good ideas and was wondering if I could pi k your brain. So I just got a new baby and he is doing wonderful, when I am home he spends most of his time out of his cage or in one of his many cages threw the house. . But I am getting ready to go to Hawaii for 4 days and he is staying here in California. I have a sitter coming to stay at the house. But since he is still just a baby (9 weeks) I don’t really trust him. The sitter is not very experienced with birds so I need to keep him occupied. My last red vent was paranoid of toys and preferred to be on me 24/7 and this little guy is headed the same way. I want him to not be bored and the only toy I have found for softbills is a little box with a hole w colorful paper ribbons inside. Do you have any ideas on what we all could use for toys.? I couldn’t find any ideas online because as most of us softbill people know, the pet world caters to the hook bill. Any thoughts?
    Thanks a million

  182. avatar

    Hi Kerry, Thanks for the kind words; please check out this article/./..the links seem to go right to the general toy section, but they are just suggestions so perhaps you’ll find another useful one by scrolling through..much depends of the individual bird, as you know, but toys in which you can hide treats, or similar ones to the model you described, seem best. Enjoy your trip, Frank

  183. avatar

    Thanks frank will wait and watch



  184. avatar

    Good luck, let me know how all goes, best, Frank

  185. avatar

    Hi there,

    Great info you got here on bulbul’s, what a great article! Question, Do we need to supplement them with vitamin C? I read an article on how vit C is really critical for bulbuls because of something like they are not able to produce their own vit C? And May die from it? So to be save I have been giving fruits and I also will dip his pellets in OJ before feeding time. Also, my local pet stores here don’t carry the insectivorous bird food you mentioned. I am planning to order online when the baby (I rescued that fell from it’s nest from a very tall tree) gets a little older. He is about 3 weeks now and doing great. So do you recommend any certain brand?

    Thank you!

  186. avatar


    Thanks for the kind words.

    Most birds need to obtain Vit C via diet…bulbuls enjoy oranges, mangoes and similar fruits, and generally get enough from the diet. However, no harm in adding some liquid vitamins to the bird’s water.

    Most softbill diets utilize similar ingredients; you should be fine with any established company…send me further info if you wish. Best, Frank

    Enjoy and please keep me posted, Frank

  187. avatar

    Hii Frank , i want to know some info about red vented bubul. I have two one is a little big good the other is a a little small and it has some difficulties in its legs .what can i do to help the small one.

  188. avatar

    Thank u Frank its ok ill try to take them. And its so friendly i love them. And i just wanna know that how to clean them . Can u help me

  189. avatar

    Hello Sarah,

    You’ll need to have a vet check the legs…no way to diagnose w/o a check-up. Please let me know if you have specific questions about care, etc. best, Frank

  190. avatar

    Hi Frank! This question is actually for Kerry Campbell! I was just wondering where she got her baby bulbul from?! I also live in California now. I was the one who contacted you a couple of years ago about taking my bulbul from Hawaii. He is doing well!! I just wanted to know where she was able to find one for future reference, as I am attached to having a bulbul as a pet 🙂 🙂 Thanks!

  191. avatar

    Hello Kelly,

    Very glad to hear that all is going well! Please keep me posted, best, Frank

  192. avatar
    Nwaogu chima Josiah

    Dear Frank,
    I don’t have any experience with keeping wild birds though I have been involved with poultry keeping in the past. I intend to to set up a captive study population of 40 Common bulbuls in Nigeria at the end of the wet season for my PhD diet experiments. getting the birds to breed is not my major intention but it will be an added information if they do. can you assist me with tips on how to go about this. Literatures and other published information will be highly appreciated.
    Thank you


  193. avatar

    Hello Chima,

    The common bulbul is very hardy; care and feeding is as described for the red-vented (a variety of fruit along with insects, commercial softbill diet or ground meat mixed with hard-boiled eggs, etc). Breeding is seasonal in areas with a wet/dry season, so they my still be in breeding condition at the end of the rainy season. In areas with more rain, they can breed multiple times, year-round. You’ll need to watch for aggression between mated pairs, but providing lots of space and food, and especially areas of dense bushes, small trees, shrubs etc, will limit this. Provide plenty of dried grass and other nesting material as well. Unfortunately I do not have any published info on hand…the Journal of African Ornithology should be useful.

    I’d enjoy hearing about your progress…please keep me posted when time permits, thanks.

    Best regards, Frank

  194. avatar

    Thanks Frank,
    Your reply has been very informative. I will sure keep you posted when I begin; hopefully in October.
    Best wishes


  195. avatar

    My pleasure, Chima, enjoy and good luck, Frank

  196. avatar

    Hello Frank,


    Thanks for all your advice which I took from you couple of months back. Out of three bulbuls, two of it survived well and I have released them in free air 🙂

    They were 3+ months old at the time of release, i.e 2 days back. They took a great flight because we used to open them up in our house for flight practice.

    But my concern here is –
    When we opened them up, they weren’t much interested going out but then 4 – 5 wild bulbuls came, which I assume 2 of them to be their parents, and they had a fight my little ones.
    They have not returned since then 🙁 and not to seen nearby.

    1. Though there are many bulbuls here in the locality, would had they adjusted with wild ones? it has started raining hard these days.. so had I made a mistake releasing them now?

    2. Have they lost their way? Could it be a chance that they might have been separated? Is there any chance that they might ever come back to me? I am really sorry for these senseless ques but I am missing them terribly 🙁


  197. avatar

    Hi Ritika,

    Congrats…very hard to raise them, and even more so that they are healthy and able to fly off.

    They will be fine…local ones often chase off young of the year;…even their own. Unrelated birds coming into the area may be accepted…it’s a way of avoiding inbreeding and competition. Fights do not lead to fatalities in bulbuls..just chasing, some pecks etc. The 2 will likely separate when they find mates, or may re-join a small flock after the mating season, but this also is as it should be. As for rain, they have millions of years of evolution behind them…how to find shelter, etc. is not a learned skill, they all know what to do. I understand your missing them, but you did a fine thing in releasing them. They adjust very quickly to the wild..unlike parrots, dogs and some others, they tend not to return when released. I hope all is well, frank

  198. avatar

    my bulbul died about a year ago.he was 8 years old.i still cant forget him.after he died i decided to not keep any bird.he was like the part of my family.i still miss him so much

  199. avatar

    Thanks Frank for the quick response. It gave me a great relieve to hear that they’ll adjust well and will be good, for me it might take time to adjust without them 😛

    Once again a lot of thanx for helping out with all your advice. My best wishes for your work.


  200. avatar

    My pleasure, and thanks for the kind words.

    Let me know when you start on your next project, best regards, Frank

  201. avatar

    Aloha Frank,

    Your article has been incredible helpful for me. I found a baby bulbul on a busy street and have been raising it for the past three weeks. A few days ago I introduced mealworms and crickets to it’s diet, and I’ve left it’s cage open during the days so it can roam the yard. Today I woke up and it looked very tired and wouldn’t chirp. I gave it some water and hand fed formula with probiotics, but it doesn’t seem very interested in food or chirping. It’s been sleeping all day and I’m very worried it’s sick. I don’t know what else to do except take it to a vet later today :'(
    Any advice?


  202. avatar

    Hello Amber,

    Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately, no way to diagnose except via a vet visit, as numerous problems can be involved, all showing same symptoms. Bring a stool sample if available. I hope all goes well, pl keep me posted, Frank

  203. avatar

    Hello Frank,

    Bowie died last night. Thanks again for the fantastic resource.


  204. avatar

    Hello Amber,

    Sorry to hear the news; it’s very difficult to raise fledglings…often the immune system is compromised, or there are conditions that take awhile to manifest. Please let me know if you need anything in the future, best, Frank

  205. avatar

    hello, i have red vented bulbul, since 3 months and i think his age is 5 months, i have some concerned question about that bird, i can,t recognized that its a male or female,, give me some tips how may i come to know that its a male or female, and if she is female, can she lay egg without mate, because i heard some birds do without mate, and how much time it will take to preparing for laying eggs, futhermore, i am kepting that in a cage, it used to sit on just a stick, should i purchase a proper nest for it or i should leave it as it is, because i wanna prepare it for producing offsprings. thanks.

  206. avatar

    Hello jay,

    The sexes are nearly identical…no sure way to ID other than by behavior, i.e. if several are kept together. Females of some birds may produce eggs without mating, but these are infertile and will not hatch. Best, frank

  207. avatar

    Hi Frank,

    You do a great job with your website (replies to queries). Could you tell me if you know any bird that whistle’s well like Bulbuls. Just a few notes. By the way, can one distinguish between male & female bulbul, as I have one female that lays fake eggs, and I want to buy one male but by visual method of finding out the male bird in Kuwait market. Some of the indoor sales guys here (in pet shops) look at the anus of the bird and can tell the sex but I’m baffled by this! Is there a visual method???

  208. avatar

    Hello William,

    Thanks for the kind words. In most bulbul species, the sexes are identical. In many birds, there is a slight difference in the width of the hip bones , near the vent, and in the shape of the vent. Only a very experienced breeder would be able to determine this, and there’s room for error.

    There are a great many species that sound similar to various bulbuls, and others that mimic calls well…sorry, no way to ID a specific species.

    Best,. Frank

  209. avatar


    Love your site its very informative. I was wondering about what other birds you keep along with the bulbuls in the aviary as well as what other types of birds may be kept with them.

    Thank you

  210. avatar

    Hello Rami,

    Thanks for the kind words. I kept several other bulbul species with them, as well as various leaf birds. However, this was in a huge exhibit stocked with trees etc. In smaller aviaries, it is more difficult to mix birds….space, species, and breeding status becomes important. Please feel free to send specific info, best, Frank

  211. avatar

    Hello Frank,

    Rami again. Basicly i plan on building a planted aviary(about 10 x 10 meters) the birds i was hoping to add were splendid parakeets as well as bourkes and some canaries and goldfinches. Of course i am planning to breed them but i will have lots of extra nests and many hiding spots so the birds would feel less nervous

  212. avatar

    Hello Rami,

    Sounds like a great project – the space is ideal for mixed species. Those you mention will work out in theory, but difficult to predict for sure as territoriality can develop, individuals differ re aggression, etc. In addition to lots of bushes and other sight barriers, best to provide extra nest sites of the types favored by each species, Bulbuls, and other small passerines should probably be introduced and allowed to settle in before keets, if possible. Would be prudent to have isolation area attached to aviary if possible, or extra cages, in case you need to split individuals from group. Enjoy and please keep me posted, frank

  213. avatar

    Alooo sir….

    I have a small problem.my kitty has katched a red-vented bird,& the eggs are nt yet hatched,its the mother bird.what should I do!!!!!…HELP

  214. avatar


    Very sorry for the delay, I missed your comment somehow. Unfortunately, there’s not much to be done…males do not often incubate alone, best regards, frank

  215. avatar

    Hi Frank,
    We have a red vented bulbul at home. Now it’s been 1 month. Though it has got out of nest too small to survive outside. Our plan is to keep it with us till it can manage. It is healthy and very active. But for last 2 days it’s sound doesnt come out.its making the sound. But not loud at all from what it used to do. Please advice.
    Thank you.

  216. avatar


    Unfortunately it’s not possible to diagnose the problem based on what you have described…the best option would be to have the bird seen by a veterinarian if available. I’m sorry I could not be of more help, best regards frank

  217. avatar

    Hello sir
    Read all of the comments above and it did help me alot. I took in two baby red whiskered bulbuls n dey are almost a month old now. They wer growing on fine,had learnt to perch when both of them hurt their legs accidently. Both limp om to deir side when dey hop around,also they put deir weight on one side when they sit. Their back toe does not curl properly too. Plus inspite of being 1 month old, they dont have feathers beneath their wings n near d vent. I tried to find an avian but soo far m unsuccessful. Any help will be highly appreciated. Thank you..!

  218. avatar


    They usually get along quite well despite leg injuries etc. As for the feathers, it is difficult to say, as there can be numerous causes…w/o vet advice, the best you can do is to provide a good diet and living conditions. I hope all goes well, frank

  219. avatar

    hi franks,
    its been a long time since the last post, hope you are fine and in good health,all my bulbuls i spoke about in your blog have fledged successfully thanks for your help. i would like to share some information for the people in india who come across red vented or red whiskered bulbuls in my next post, as this is the time when we mostly come across them in india. somethings i have put together from your blog and elsewhere which have really helped me to bring these birds up well . things which have helped from the time they are 6days old till a month old.at the moment i do have 3 red vented bulbul they were 6days old now are 1month old and healthy.

  220. avatar

    WHEN YOU FIND BULBULS CHICKS IN A NEST(this is what i do and what i learnt from) -when bulbuls are 6days old(with some feathers) or between 2weeks old in the nest NEVER FEED WATER it will dehydrated them and they will appear weak and listless. they will have water on there own later, put the birds along with the nest in a small cage(if there are no nest mites in the nest)make sure the base of the cage is covered so there legs dont get between the cage bars at the base of the cage if they come out of the nest(normally indian cages come with a metal sheet at the base, if not put a cardboard ,news paper or something ) .keep this cage in a place were species like crows, cats or dogs cannot reach , i never carry the chicks from the nest they will stop sitting in the nest on there own and will come out of it on there own thats when i pet them also,i get rid of the nest once they stop sitting and sleeping in it on there own, i try my best not to touch them often when in the nest,because if you carry them often you could damage there legs,at this stage there legs are very very weak and there feet and toes may not grow well.Their back toes will not curl properly and nails will not grip the perch properly later when they grow, so i avoid carrying them or petting them till they leave the nest themselves in the cage.i use a tweezer/Blunt-tipped forceps to clean the dropping and food in the nest and avoid carrying them by hand , i lift the chicks up gently from the nest with the tweezer and carry the droping from the nest with the tweezer to clean the nest i do this every time AFTER I FEED THE CHICK ,the dropings are kind of white colour coated like a enclosed capsule(if your birds dropping is so its doing great) carry the droppings gently so that you dont break the coating of the droping or else it will dirty the nest again. Droppings harden after sticking to the body and are extremely painful,mostly the chicks lift there bottoms and the dropping fall out of the nest if it fall out side the nest you are lucky. after the first feed and after the last feed of the day i remove the chicks very gently from the nest(very carefull with the nails,toes and feet here) place them on paper towels with something soft under it or something which there nails wont get caught in ,then dust the nest off properly ,do not scatter the twigs, then shape the nest well and put them in gently, be very very gentle here especially when removing the chicks from the nest.try not to do this often.
    if the bird is found with out a nest here is a great link for you under HOUSING .. http://rehabbersden.org/Hand-rearing%20and%20rehabilitation%20of%20bulbuls%20-%20Red-vented%20and%20Red-whiskered%20bulbul.html

  221. avatar

    this is how i have raised up all my bulbuls here in india it still works for me infact now i have 3chicks ,which were 6days old now are now 1month old.
    all you need is
    -small cage for the start would be better and safe,with the base covered..big would be better as they grow fast and would need more place later .
    -roasted indian chick peas (CHANA) with skin make sure u taste it befoe buying to make sure its fresh
    -1ml tuberculin syring avilable at chemist(do not use needle if it come with the syringe)
    -baby drop feeder avilable at chemist
    -ven gro drops vet suggested(vitimin drops) avilable at chemist
    -tweezer/Blunt-tipped forceps

    this is what i do i start feeding them at 7am in the morning i feed them roasted indian chick peas paste (CHANA) ,take 6 to 8 chana skin them,then chew them by mouth (sounds yaakeey and gross but works great and the chewed chana temperature is perfect for the bird)THIS IS ALSO AN OLD TIME REMEDIE IN INDIA .keep chewing to make a paste not to dry and not to liquidy you should be able to carry it with the tip of a 1ml tuberculin syring(not the needle) it should be neither too thick, which would make it difficult for the baby to swallow and it may choke, nor too diluted as you would not able to carry it with the tip of the syringe ,after you chew into a paste put this paste in a small bowl after chewing,we need to feed the chicks vitimin drops(suggested by my vet)along with this paste once in the morning ,so buy vitimin drops called “ven gro” something like 75rs,
    what i do is(eg 3 chicks) i make 3 very small portion of chana paste out of the same chana paste which is in the bowl (each portion should be like the size of 1 chana)now add 1drop of ven gro ONLY to each portion by using a baby drop feeder(cheap and easily avilable).mix the chana paste and the ven gro drop with the tip of a 1ml tuberculin syringe dont let the 3 portions mix with each other keep them seperate, now carry 1 portion with the tip of the syringe(do not put the paste inside the syringe). whistle/tap the beak or nest the chick should open its beak feed the chick as soon as it opens its beak do the same with the other 2portions for the other 2 chicks,becareful not to hurt the chick inside the beak with the syringe while feeding (whistle only when you are about to feed the chick and you want them to open there beak soon every time you whistle they will open there beak) ,you have to be very fast in putting the paste in its beak as soon as they open there beak(this will take practice),The chick must be given time to swallow the first morsel before the second one is offered ,while feeding they may poop as soon as they poop clean it with the tweezer(as mentioned in early post how too).you have to also remember which chick you feed so you dont feed the vitimin drops twice to the same chick during the first morning feed as you have to give only 1drop to each chick only,try not to drop the paste all over the chicks feathers because once the chana paste drys it is difficult to remove from the feathers and will hurt the chick if you try to ,if it does fall on the chick you will need to clean it by wetting the area with a drop of warm water and allow the chana to soak for a minute or two before attempting to remove it with your finger or with a piece of wet cloth, The procedure must be repeated if the particle doesn’t come out in the first wash (this is the worst part when the paste falls all over the nest and chick, so carry little paste on the syringe tip just enough to fit in the beak)this 3portions mixed with vengro drops is fed only for the first feed in the morning at 7am , after feeding the 3 portions(one for each chick) feed the rest of the chana paste in the bowl , Once the chicks have had enough to eat the chick will stop gaping and refuse to open its beak DO NOT FORCE THE CHICK TO EAT.The beak and feathers must be wiped gently with a moist cloth after feeding if you have dropped chana around the beak. then after evry 40-45mins i follow the same chana paste feeding with out drops till evening 6.30pm.in the middle of the day instead of chana i also feed them boiled egg paste made by mouth (gross but it works) this also important in there diet .i also give them 5mins sunlight before 10am they do the cleaning of the feathers themselves.i feed them this only NOTHING ELSE for the first 2weeks. then after 2weeks i feed them after every 1hour i also feed them mouth smashed banana,mango,jambul…etc.slowly at this age they will start flying a bit and jump around in the cage, it is very important to cover them with a cloth when they do this(mostly between feeds), as they could hurt themselves and legs which could lead to fracture or limping on one leg.i normally cover them when they get noise and jumpy between feeds.after 3weeks i put a bowl of water in the cage not to much they could drown themselves, once i notice that all chicks are drinking water on there own i stop the vitimin drops (ven gro)in the morning feed.instead of putting drops in the chana paste i put 3drops in there water in the morning and mix it well there is no prob if they bath in this same water(told by my vet). i then change the water at 2pm put vitimin drops again ten in the evening at 6.30pm i throw the vitimin water out before closing the cage in the evening and put a little normal water in the bowl for the night.i f

    after 1month you could refer here Stage 3: Fledgling – dependent upon parents… http://rehabbersden.org/Hand-rearing%20and%20rehabilitation%20of%20bulbuls%20-%20Red-vented%20and%20Red-whiskered%20bulbul,%20page%202.html

  222. avatar

    I just rescued a baby red vented bulbul outside my office 4 days back. His sibling was eaten by crows. So i brought him home and kept him on an open basket wd lid. I feed him hard boiled egg with rice meal, fruits like apple mango etc as its nest was in a mango tree. Evrything is fine with him, only he cant stand properly now. I don’t know its age. But it has feathered up, bt there is no tail feathers. It chirps a lot. And i give food evry half an hour. Is he injured thats why he cant stand or is he too little to stand?? Please reply.

  223. avatar


    It’s difficult to say, but many hand-reared chicks become splay-legged if the nest cavity is too wide, or the legs are not supported properly under the bird as it grows; or an injury incurred when it fell from the nest may be involved. it would be best to have the bird seen by a vet or an experienced bird breeder. Best, frank

  224. avatar

    Thanks for all your care and hard work, Roman..I d get quite a few requests from India and I’m sure your information will be most appreciated. Take care and keep up the great work, Frank

  225. avatar

    thanks frank , this information i provided really works back here in india i have also taken suggestion from the vet, and pulled information from different sources ,the only difficult part for me is sexing them and breeding them which im still gaining knowledge on.

  226. avatar

    Much appreciated, Roman…enjoy and please keep me posted, best, frank

  227. avatar

    Thankyou frank, now my bird is climbing cages and stretching its legs and hopping around. I suppose I don’t need to worry now. the only thing I am tensed is I dont find insects for my baby to eat. i am feeding him boiled egg yolk, rice meal and fruits , is that okay ? I am seeing he has grown quite in the last few days in this diet.

  228. avatar

    My pleasure.

    Insects are the main diet in the wild, but captive diets such as you are using have also worked well..growth and vitality are good signs, best, Frank

  229. avatar

    Thanks Mr. Frank,
    Greetings. i just wanted to ask you in regard to the aggressive behavior of parent bulbul which raised up three young in our courtyard. in a short while they are grown..was pleasant to watch. however when the mother was about to train young to fly, mother bulbul is not allowing any of us to open door to view our courtyard nor to water our plants.. is this the regular characteristics of this bird../ please answer me. we have never disturbed them..what should i do..?

  230. avatar


    When the young leave the nest, they do not fly well, and many are taken by predators; parents of many species follow and protect for a few days, also feed …bulbuls not usually very aggressive at this time, but individuals vary …behavior should change shortly as young move off. best, frank

  231. avatar

    Hi frank ,as per my last two post i also made a video to help my friend to learn to feed bulbuls ,these are 7day old ,would love to share it.. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2F-je_84SL7R0&h=CAQEV7Zov

  232. avatar

    Hi frank ,as per my last two post i also made a video to help my friend to learn to feed bulbuls ,these are 7day old ,would love to share it.. http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fyoutu.be%2F-je_84SL7R0&h=CAQEV7Zov , i also feed boiled egg (mouth smashed)the same way and feed them in place of the chick peas,you can feed the same way till they complete 2 weeks,then introduce mouth smashed fruits banana,jambul,mango..etc.countinue the vitimin drops till its over….. more details in my earlier posts .

  233. avatar

    Much appreciated, Roman, I’m sure it will be very helpful! Best frank

  234. avatar

    as per my last two post i also made a video to help my friend to learn to feed bulbuls ,these are 7day old ,would love to share it..
    i also feed boiled egg (mouth smashed)the same way and feed them in place of the chick peas,you can feed the same way till they complete 2 weeks,then introduce mouth smashed fruits banana,jambul,mango..etc.countinue the vitimin drops till its over….. more details in my earlier posts .

  235. avatar

    Hi frank,
    if that link to the video does not work you can try this….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jer9fk6JE4 i also feed boiled egg (mouth smashed)the same way and feed them in place of the chick peas some times in the day,you can feed the same way till they complete 2 weeks,then introduce mouth smashed fruits banana,jambul,mango..etc.countinue the vitimin drops till its over….. more details in my earlier posts .

  236. avatar

    Hi Frank!

    My cat caught a fledgling Java Finch. I have taken it to the vet and the bird was given one stitch on it’s front side but other than that, no apparent injuries. I am to give him Cipro for five days and then release.

    This little bird is a very poor flyer at this point in time and also does not eat on it’s own. I am currently feeding him RoudyBush along with Papaya and Banana. He is a very good eater and gapes well.

    I have not heard/seen his mother and other sibling since the first day and this is day three. I am concerned about releasing him without any guidance. I am sure I can wean him and work on his flying skills but basic survival skills will be missing. I am all about releasing wild birds I rehab because I feel keeping them is not the optimum bird life.

    Today I put him outside in a cage in the hope that his chirping would attract his mother. My plan is to release him if she shows up but even that is dicey since I believe he ended up on the ground because he fledged a little too early. His sibling is able to fly much better from what I observed on that first day.

    If his mother does not reappear I will raise him and try for a soft release. Any enlightenment you can give me would be much appreciated. There are not many Java Finches in my immediate area. I assume the few that are here were drawn by the fruit my husband puts in the little garden by our building. Myna, Zebra Doves, Brazilian Cardinals, Wax Bills and Sparrows are what I see most often.

    This is my first time working with a Java Finch.



About Frank Indiviglio

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I believe that I was born with an intense interest in animals, as neither I nor any of my family can recall a time when I was not fascinated by creatures large and small. One might imagine this to be an unfortunate set of circumstances for a person born and raised in the Bronx, but, in actuality, quite the opposite was true. Most importantly, my family encouraged both my interest and the extensive menagerie that sprung from it. My mother and grandmother somehow found ways to cope with the skunks, flying squirrels, octopus, caimans and countless other odd creatures that routinely arrived un-announced at our front door. Assisting in hand-feeding hatchling praying mantises and in eradicating hoards of mosquitoes (I once thought I had discovered “fresh-water brine shrimp” and stocked my tanks with thousands of mosquito larvae!) became second nature to them. My mother went on to become a serious naturalist, and has helped thousands learn about wildlife in her 16 years as a volunteer at the Bronx Zoo. My grandfather actively conspired in my zoo-buildings efforts, regularly appearing with chipmunks, boa constrictors, turtles rescued from the Fulton Fish Market and, especially, unusual marine creatures. It was his passion for seahorses that led me to write a book about them years later. Thank you very much, for a complete biography of my experience click here.
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