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Mauritiana
Mauritius Black Bulbul
Merle charpentier - Merl
Mauritius hypsipetes (borbonicus) olivaceus

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 Mauritius Black Bulbul
Hypsipetes (borbonicus) olivaceus
Photograph Colin Taylor
 

 Description

Scientific Name

Hypsipetes (borbonicus) olivaceus

English Name

Mauritius Black Bulbul

Local English Name

Whistling blackbird

French Name

Merle charpentier

Creole Name

Merl

Habitat

Various native forests, e.g. Bel Ombre, Savanne, Bambous, Black River

Geographic Range

Mauritius

First Description

Vieillot, 1817

Status

Vulnerable less than 280 pairs

   

 Classification

Kingdom
Phylum
Sub phylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
Species

Animalia
Chordata
Vertebrata
Aves
Passeriformes
Pycnonotidae
Hypsipetes
Hypsipetes (borbonicus) olivaceus

 

 Details

Food

Omnivore. Eats fruits, insects, even small lizards

Reproduction

Two pinkish-white, spotted eggs in a rather untidy, cup-shaped nest made of fairly thick plant parts like grass leaves. Nest placed in vegetation a few metres above ground level. Both male and female sit on the eggs. Incubation time 15 days. Young stay a further 3 weeks in nest.

Remarks

The bird often travels in small groups. Male and female plumage alike. Yellow bill of both sexes conspicuous. Voice pleasant.
Quick to sound alert when disturbed.
Illustrated on a 50 cent stamp and a calendar published by the State Commercial Bank.

Mauritius Bulbul Stamp - SG 326 (1965) - Hypsipetes (borbonicus) olivaceus

Bird Stamp

 

The Mauritius bulbul, called locally whistling blackbird, was a long time a popular game. In the years 1970, its population was estimated at approximately 500 individuals. The replacement of the natural forests by plantations of tea plants currently constitutes a threat for the species.
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Endemic Birds

Echo Parakeet

 

The Captive Breeding Program

Kestrel
Pink Pigeon
Mauritius Fody
Paradise Flycatcher
Cuckoo Shrike
Grey White-Eye
Olive White-eye
Black Bulbul

Rodrigues Warbler
Yellow Fody

   
. .
.

Sites

 

Bassin Blanc
Macchabee Forest Road

   
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References

.
.

Safford, R. J. 1996. Notes on the biology of the Mauritius Black Bulbul Hypsipetes olivaceus. Ostrich 67: 151--154. (Durrell Inst. Conserv. Ecol., Univ. Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, UK.) {ROL #80}

Michel, Claude, Birds of Mauritius, Rose Hill (Mauritius) 1992, ISBN 99903-0-140-9

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