Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Streak-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus blanfordi)


French: Bulbul de Blanford German: Strichelwangenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de Blanford

Pycnonotus blanfordi


, 1862,

Thayetmyo, south Myanmar


May warrant placement in a separate genus, alongside some other bulbuls of SE Asia and Sundaic region. Recent molecular and acoustic analysis, supplemented by field observations but not specimen evidence, found that race conradi is genetically deeply divided from nominate but does not differ in voice (confirmed here by analysis of few available recordings), and differs only in minor plumage characters except for iris colour, whitish or grey vs reddish#R. Iris-colour notation on material in NHMUK confirms this difference in 46 Thai specimens, but those from S Vietnam and adjacent Cambodia problematic: of 15 specimens, 6 had iris “brown”, 3 “ochre-brown”, 1 “ochraceous”, 1 “yellow”, 2 “grey-brown”, 1 “grey” and 1 “white”. Setting this matter aside, conradi differs in its slightly larger size (effect size for male bill 1.38, score 1); slightly more pronounced yellowish supercilium (1); slightly yellower underparts, most constantly around vent (1); and white/grey vs reddish iris (with reservations allow 3); further study needed. Proposed race robinsoni (Malay Peninsula) is indistinguishable from conradi. Birds reported from N & C Laos not subspecifically identified. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. b. blanfordi Jerdon, 1862 – Ayeyarwady Bulbul – W, C, E & S Myanmar (apparently including Arakan).
  • P. b. conradi (Finsch, 1873) – Streak-eared Bulbul – Thailand, N & C Peninsular Malaysia (N Kedah, Kelantan), S Laos, Cambodia, C & S Vietnam (in C & S Annam, Cochinchina).
  • Also (subspecies undetermined) N & C Laos.

    Descriptive notes

    17·5–20 cm; 28–36 g. Medium-sized, nondescript, brownish bulbul. Nominate has dark brown lores, dull white lower face washed greyish-brown; ear-coverts and... read more


    Harsh “chu-chu-chu” or rasping “which-which-which” when foraging, and... read more


    Scrub (inland and coastal), bamboo, open mixed deciduous woodland, semi-desert, cultivation,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet fairly broad, includes both fruit and insects. Fledglings fed with berries and many insects, including termites (Isoptera),... read more


    Recorded Mar–Sept in Myanmar, Mar–Jul in N Thailand and Jan–Sept in S, and Feb–Jul in Peninsular Malaysia; multi-... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to abundant in N & C Thailand and S Laos. The commonest lowland bulbul in much of Myanmar; common throughout valleys of R Irrawaddy and R... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Streak-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus blanfordi). 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 17 July 2019).