BulbulsBulbul Photo Gallery

Black Bulbuls


White-headed Morph of the Black BulbulThe Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) is also known as the Himalayan Black Bulbul. It was formerly considered a subspecies of a widespread Madagascar Bulbul (Hypsipetes madagascariensis).

Within Asia, H. ganeesa – from the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka,- has often been listed as a subspecies of H. leucocephalus, but is increasingly treated as a separate species – the Square-tailed Black Bulbul.


Distribution / Range

They are found in southern Asia from India east to southern China.

This bird is found in broad-leaved forests and cultivation. It builds its nest in a tree or bush; two to four eggs is a typical clutch.

They are often seen in small groups, either roosting or flying about in search of food.



The Black Bulbul is 24-25cm in length, with a long tail. The body plumage ranges from slate grey to shimmering black, depending on the race. The beak, legs, and feet are all red and the head has a black fluffy crest.

Males and females look alike.

Juveniles lack the crest, have whitish underparts with a grey breast band, and have a brown tint to the upperparts.

A number of subspecies exist across this large range, mostly varying in the shade of the plumage, which ranges from grey to black. Some white-headed morphs have also been recorded.


Diet / Feeding:

Black Bulbuls feed mainly on seeds, insects and berries.


Call / Vocalization:

These birds can be quite noisy, making various loud miao calls.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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