Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Near Threatened

Buff-vented Bulbul (Iole charlottae)


French: Bulbul de Charlotte German: Braunbauchbülbül Spanish: Bulbul oliváceo

Criniger charlottae


, 1867,



Races apparently genetically distinct, and may represent two species#R; further study needed. Proposed race perplexa (Labuan Kelambu, in Borneo) is synonym of nominate, based on immature bird#R. Species previously listed as I. olivacea, but specific epithet (preoccupied when species included in Hypsipetes) replaced before 1961 and thus permanently invalid#R; replacement name is crypta, over which charlottae has priority as name of species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. c. crypta Oberholser, 1918 – S Myanmar (Tenasserim), S Thailand (S of 14° N), Peninsular Malaysia, Riau Archipelago and Sumatra (including Batu Is, Bangka and Belitung), Anambas Is (E of Peninsular Malaysia) and N Natunas.
  • I. c. charlottae (Finsch, 1867) – Borneo (including Banggi I).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–20·5 cm; 20–28 g. A medium-sized, virtually featureless, noisy bulbul with relatively long and slender bill, crown often appearing frizzy when feathers... read more


    No complex song described. Call a musical “er-whit” or “wher-it”, with... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, edges and secondary growth. At Pasoh, in Peninsular Malaysia, no... read more

    Food and feeding

    A generalist, eating fruit and insects. Fruit part of diet includes many figs (Ficus), including banyans, and 17 of 25 Ficus... read more


    On mainland, breeding in Apr–Jul in Peninsular Malaysia, and unconfirmed reports from Jan onwards; well-developed juveniles in Mar in... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Population probably declining, as lowland forest is disappearing from Sundaic lowlands. This species’... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Buff-vented Bulbul (Iole charlottae). 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 18 January 2020).