Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus flaviventris)


French: Bulbul à huppe noire German: Haubenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul crestinegro

Vanga Flaviventris


, 1833,

Dampara, Odisha (Orissa), India


See P. melanicterus. Situation in SE Asia complicated by a tight clustering of races and the presence of different colour morphs; it is likely that some other described races may be insufficiently distinct to warrant recognition. Eight subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. f. flaviventris (Tickell, 1833) – N, NE & E India (Himalayan foothills E from Himachal Pradesh, S to Meghalaya, also hills of Madhya Pradesh, also Eastern Ghats from Odisha S to Andhra Pradesh), Nepal, E Bangladesh, N, C & W Myanmar and S China (W Yunnan).
  • P. f. vantynei Deignan, 1948 – E Myanmar and NW & NE Thailand E to S China (S Yunnan, S Guangxi) and N Indochina.
  • P. f. xanthops Deignan, 1948 – SE Myanmar (including N Tenasserim) and W Thailand.
  • P. f. auratus Deignan, 1948 – NE Thailand and C Laos.
  • P. f. johnsoni (Gyldenstolpe, 1913) – C, NE & SE Thailand and S Indochina. Recorded also in S China (W Guangxi)#R.
  • P. f. elbeli Deignan, 1954 – Gulf of Thailand islands (at least Ko Kut, Ko Chang).
  • P. f. negatus Deignan, 1954 – S Myanmar (C Tenasserim) and SW Thailand (valley of R Mae Klong).
  • P. f. caecilii Deignan, 1948 – extreme S Myanmar (S Tenasserim), SE & SW Thailand and N Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Descriptive notes

    18·5–19·5 cm; male 30–34g, female 28–31 g. Medium-sized, conspicuous bulbul with permanently erected recurved crest, squared long tail.... read more


    Song recognizably bulbul-like but very sweet and musical, lacking harsh or guttural notes, whole... read more


    Open forest, mixed deciduous forest, abandoned clearings, tall hedgerows, orchards, edges of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mainly on fruit, also small amount of insects. Fruit taken, and also fed to fledglings, includes small berries of e.g. Eurycoma... read more


    Season Mar–Sept (mainly May–Jun) in India, Mar–Apr in Myanmar and Jan–Aug in Peninsular Malaysia. Nest very neat... read more


    Resident. Was in past noted to roam in cold weather around Yangon (Myanmar), tending to leave... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common in much of range, including NE India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, S Laos, parts of Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia; rare in S China. Once... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Black-crested Bulbul (Pycnonotus flaviventris). 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 8 December 2019).