Backyard Birds

Cape Bulbuls

The Cape Bulbul (Pycnonotus capensis) is found in southern South Africa, where it inhabits coastal bush, open forest, and gardens. These common and conspicuous birds are active and noisy, and usually seen in pairs or small groups.


The Cape Bulbul measures 19-21 cm in length.

The plumage is mainly dull, blackish brown. It has distinctive white eye-rings and yellow undertail coverts (feathers).

The head has a small crest. The short, straight bill, legs and feet are black and the iris is dark brown.

Males and females look alike.

Nesting / Breeding

They breed from September to November. The thick-walled nest cup is hidden in the foliage of a small tree or shrub.

Diet / Feeding

The Cape Bulbul feeds on fruit, nectar, and insects.

Calls / Vocalizations

Their calls are described as a liquid whistle of two or more varied notes pit-peet-pitmajol, piet-piet-patata.

BulbulsBulbul Photo Gallery


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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