Backyard Birds

Yellow-eared Bulbul

The Yellow-eared Bulbul, Pycnonotus penicillatus, is a bulbul endemic to the highlands of Sri Lanka. This is a bird of jungle and wooded farmland. It is readily found at sites such as Horton Plains National Park and Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya. These bulbuls build their nests in a bush. A typical clutch consists of two eggs.


The Yellow-eared Bulbul averages 7 inches or 20 cm in length, with a long tail. It has olive upperparts and yellowish underparts. The crown of the head is grey, and there are yellow ear tufts and a yellow patch below the eye. There is a white tuft in front of the eye and the throat is also white.

Both males and females look alike.

Immature birds are duller than adults.

The flight is bouncing and woodpecker-like.


Yellow-eared Bulbuls feed on fruit and insects.


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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