Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Near Threatened

Black-and-white Bulbul (Microtarsus melanoleucos)


French: Bulbul demi-deuil German: Trauerbülbül Spanish: Bulbul blanquinegro

Microtarsus melanoleucos


, 1839,

Melaka, Peninsular Malaysia


Characters of putative race proximus (Siberut, off W Sumatra) fall within range of variation found throughout species’ entire distribution. Monotypic.


S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (including Siberut) and Borneo.

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; 23–33 g. Medium-small, quiet, relatively unobtrusive bulbul, as adult virtually unmistakable. Male is uniform blackish brown, with contrasting upperwing... read more


Generally quiet. Occasionally a tuneless, clear, upward-inflected disyllable, variously transcribed... read more


Broadleaf lowland evergreen forest (primary forest and selectively logged forest), mixed... read more

Food and feeding

Fruits; also eats caterpillars, but few reports of insects in diet. Seems partial to fruits of mistletoes (Loranthaceae), Lantana... read more


Breeds Jan–May. Nest cup-shaped, interior measurements of one were 7 cm wide × 3 cm deep, composed chiefly of sticks bound together... read more


Resident, but nomadic over wide area; often arrives in numbers in one locality, staying for a few... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Fairly common in Peninsular Malaysia and parts of Borneo, but often difficult to find because of its... read more

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Black-and-white Bulbul (Microtarsus melanoleucos). 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 June 2019).