Conservation status Least concern
Female Hypocolius on the tooth brush tree (Salvadora Persica)
The Grey Hypocolius (Hypocolius ampelinus; alternative name Hypocolius) is a small passerine bird species. It is the sole member of the genus Hypocolius and family Hypocoliidae. It ranges through the Middle East, breeding in the Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan area, and wintering mostly near the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coasts of Arabia. It is found in bushes and scrub, also in palm groves and gardens.
The Hypocolius's shape and soft plumage resemble the waxwings'. Birds are mainly a uniform grey color, with males having a black triangular mask around the eyes. They have white-tipped black primary wing feathers and a black tip to the tail.
These birds eat berries with some insects. They lay 3-4 eggs in a nest in a bush.
Their relationships are unclear. They may be related to the waxwings, and some authorities place them in the same family, but others believe their closest relatives are the bulbuls.
The bird is not especially rare, but the political difficulties in getting into and around any of the countries in its range are formidable.
- BirdLife International (2004). Hypocolius ampelinus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 10 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern