Red-whiskered Bulbul

Pycnonotus jocosus

Red-whiskered Bulbul: Introduced to parts of North America as escaped caged birds. Brown upperparts, black crested head, mask, partial collar, orange-red patch behind eye, white cheek patch. Underparts are white with brown wash. Eats berries, fruits and insects. Direct flight with rapid wing beats.

Cool Facts

Photo taken from:
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America by David Allen Sibley
  • The Red-whiskered Bulbul was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist.
  • It gets its name from the red whisker patch located below its eye.
  • On Oahu they eat the orange morphs of the Monarch butterfly, causing a rise in the white morph population over the last twenty years.
  • The word bulbul may have come from a Turkish or Persian word for nightingale.


The Red-whiskered Bulbul is not easily mistaken for any other species of bird in Australia. It has a pointed black crest, white cheeks, brown back, reddish under tail coverts and a long white-tipped tail. The red whisker mark, from which it gets its name, is located below the eye, but is not always easy to see. Both male and female birds are similar in plumage, while young birds are duller with a greyish-black crown.
Range Map
Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
     Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
Species: Pycnonotus jocosus
"queekey ", "lerrr"

Identification and Information
See Anatomy of a Bird
  • Length Range: 18 cm (7 in)
  • Weight: 28 g (1 oz)
  • Size: Small (5 - 9 in)
  • Color Primary: White, Brown
  • Underparts: White
  • Upperparts: Gray-brown
  • Back Pattern: Solid
  • Belly Pattern: Solid
  • Breast Pattern: Solid
  • Bill Shape: All-purpose
  • Eye Color: Varies from hazel to medium brown.
  • Head Pattern: Crested or plumed
  • Crown Color: Black
  • Forehead Color: Black
  • Nape Color: Gray-brown
  • Throat Color: White
  • Cere color: No Data
  • Flight Pattern: Direct flight, rapid wingbeat, woodpecker like.
  • Wingspan Range: 25-28 cm (10-11 in)
  • Wing Shape: Rounded-Wings
  • Tail Shape: Squared Tail
  • Tail Pattern: Plain
  • Upper Tail: Gray-brown
  • Under Tail: Red
  • Leg Color: Black
  • Breeding Location: Bushes and shrubs
  • Breeding Type: Monogamous
  • Breeding Population: Fairly common to common
  • Egg Color: Pink white spotted with red brown and purple
  • Number of Eggs: 2 - 4
  • Incubation Days: 12 - 14
  • Egg Incubator: Both sexes
  • Nest Material: Dead leaves, grass, paper, bark and plastic, lined with hair.
  • Migration: Nonmigratory
  • Condition at Hatching:

Other Names

Similar Species

  • Turaha pigli-pitta in Telugu
  • Sipahi bulbul in Bengali
  • Phari-bulbul/Kanera bulbu in Hindi.
  • Red-vented Bulbul is larger, has a black face, and is dark red under the tail. It also lacks the red "whisker" and white cheek patch.

Conservation Status

The current conservation status of the Red-whiskered Bulbul is classified as Least Concern.


Sources used to Construct this Page:

Red-whiskered Bulbul: Native to India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Burma and South China coast. Escaped caged birds introduced and established in North America south of Miami, Florida & Los Angeles
Red-whiskered Bulbul: Eats berries, fruit and insects which it finds in shrubs and trees.

Adult Sexes Similar

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Additional Photos & Video

Adult Sexes Similar


All photos 2008 Rick Swartzentrover - Free for non-profit use.

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