Red-whiskered bulbul

Red-whiskered bulbul

Pycnonotus jocosus

Common name:

Red-whiskered bulbul

Scientific name:

Pycnonotus jocosus

Alternative common names:


Red-whiskered bulbul is apasserinebird found in Asia. It feeds on fruits, buds, seedlings, insects, spiders, and nectar. As many as 50 birds can be seen flocking and feeding together. You might also see them foraging on the ground. They usually stay hidden in the vegetation, but you might see them perching high in a tree in the early morning where they will sing and call to each other.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

India, Southern China.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 2.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Limpopo Province.

How does it spread?

Spread via pet trade. The introduction of in some cases is thought to be a result of their release from cages, avaries, gardens, etc.

Why is it a problem?

It has been found to damage commercial crops, compete with and displace native passerines, prey on endemic young birds and arthropods, and spread invasive plant species.

What does it look like?

Description: Red-whiskered bulbul has tall black crest and the bright red face patch. It also has a black face with a white cheek and a black line which extends down from its bill. It has a white fore neck, throat, and under parts. It sports a slender black bill, short legs and a long slender tail. The tail is black with a white tip and red converts. Juveniles are duller overall than the adults. They lack the red facial patch and have greyish-brown crowns.

Habitat: Agricultural areas, coastland, natural forests, planted forests, disturbed, scrub/shrublands, urban areas.

Breeding: Clutches typically contain two to three eggs. The eggs have a pale mauve ground colour with speckles becoming blotches towards the broad end. Eggs measure 21 mm and are 16 mm wide. Eggs take 12 days to hatch. Both parents take part in raising the young. Young birds are fed on caterpillars and insects which are replaced by fruits and berries as they mature.

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