Hairy-backed Bulbul at Bumbung Tabing, in the rainforest of Taman Negara

BorstenmantelbülbülThe Bumbung Tabing, in the rainforest of Taman Negara NP, reportedly offers space for 8 people and is said to offer a great overview of a stream loop. It’s supposed to be teeming with birds here. But when I spend my time there, the only thing I see beside the leeches is a Hairy-backed Bulbul (Tricholestes criniger). However, he seems to be building his nest and can be seen again later with his companion. The bird repeatedly appears high in trees opposite. But suddenly the Hairy-backed Bulbul is standing on a branch right next to the observation tower and can be photographed very well and closely. Tropical lowland forests are vibrant ecosystems teeming with biodiversity, where every species plays a unique role in maintaining the delicate balance of nature. Among the myriad of avian species that inhabit these lush environments, the Hairy-backed Bulbul stands out as an intriguing subject for scientific inquiry. In this blog post, we delve into the scientific approach to understanding the ecological niche of this captivating bird within its tropical lowland forest habitat.

Before delving into its ecological niche, it’s essential to understand the taxonomy and morphology of the Hairy-backed Bulbul. Classified under the family Pycnonotidae, this bird exhibits distinct features that set it apart. Its name derives from the fine, hair-like feathers that cover its back, contributing to its unique appearance. With a sleek, slender body and a curved beak adapted for feeding, the Hairy-backed Bulbul embodies the classic characteristics of passerine birds.

The distribution of the Hairy-backed Bulbul is primarily confined to tropical lowland forests like in the rainforest of Taman Negara where it finds optimal conditions for survival and reproduction. Within these habitats, it demonstrates a preference for dense vegetation, often inhabiting the understory layers of the forest. The abundance of foliage provides ample cover and nesting sites, offering protection from predators and inclement weather.

Understanding the ecological niche of the Hairy-backed Bulbul carries significant implications for conservation efforts aimed at preserving tropical lowland forests. As a focal species within its ecosystem, its population dynamics can serve as an indicator of habitat health and integrity. By protecting its habitat and addressing threats such as deforestation and habitat fragmentation, conservationists can safeguard not only the Hairy-backed Bulbul but also the myriad of species that depend on intact tropical ecosystems for survival.

In the complex tapestry of tropical lowland forests, the Hairy-backed Bulbul emerges as a fascinating subject of scientific inquiry. Through a rigorous scientific approach encompassing taxonomy, morphology, habitat preference, feeding ecology, breeding behavior, and species interactions, researchers gain valuable insights into its ecological niche and its broader significance within its ecosystem. By unraveling the mysteries surrounding this captivating bird, we deepen our appreciation for the intricate workings of nature and underscore the importance of preserving these vital ecosystems for future generations.


This is the scientific view. But at that time, I was more concerned treating my wounds inflicted by the leeches. When I took off my shirt I have a thick, black-red lump on my left upper arm. A leech. I pulled it off and throw it away. That works reasonably well too. Then I also notice a wound in the crook of my right arm. That was probably someone who is already gone. And the legs also have a leech on each one. One is still attached, one is already gone. What a crap. The wounds are bleeding like crazy. Luckily I have plasters with me, which I then reinforce with adhesive tape, otherwise it would fall off again with the sweat.

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