Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Red-tailed Bristlebill (Bleda syndactylus)


French: Bulbul moustac German: Rotschwanz-Borstenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul bigotudo

Dasycephala syndactyla


, 1837,

Sierra Leone


Racial identity of birds in Angola uncertain, provisionally included in woosnami. Proposed race nandensis (N Nandi Forest, in W Kenya) only very slightly yellower below than woosnami, and regarded as synonym; multicolor (SE Nigeria E to W DRCongo) not satisfactorily distinguishable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. s. syndactylus (Swainson, 1837) – Sierra Leone E to W DRCongo (Bangui, Lukolela, Tshuapa).
  • B. s. woosnami Ogilvie-Grant, 1907 – E DRCongo (Kasai, Lualaba, Upper Congo), S South Sudan, Uganda, W Kenya, N Angola and extreme NW Zambia.
  • Descriptive notes

    20·5–23 cm; male 36–57 g, female 35–49·5 g. Striking, robust bulbul with strong bill, well-developed rictal bristles. Nominate has side of... read more


    Song in W of range a series of melancholy, vibrant syllables on same pitch, ending with “... read more


    Lowland evergreen and semi-deciduous forest, gallery forest, dense thicket and forest-savanna... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, including orthopterans, beetles (Coleoptera), mantids, termites (Isoptera), cockroaches (Blattodae), cicadas (Cicadidae),... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in Mar–Apr, Aug–Sept and Nov and fledgling in Oct in Liberia; dependent juvenile in Jan in Ivory... read more


    Resident. Marked site-fidelity recorded in Gabon: 16 of 20 ringed individuals retrapped at same... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Variously rare, uncommon or common within its large range. Probably under-recorded in at least some areas as a result of its secretive behaviour and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Red-tailed Bristlebill (Bleda syndactylus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 November 2019).