Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut Bulbul (Hemixos castanonotus)


French: Bulbul marron German: Hainan-Weißkehlbülbül Spanish: Bulbul castaño

Hemixus castanonotus


, 1870,

Tai-ping-sze and near Lingmun, central Hainan


See H. flavala. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. c. canipennis Seebohm, 1890 – S China (S Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian). Recorded in NE Vietnam (NE Tonkin)#R.
  • H. c. castanonotus Swinhoe, 1870 – N Vietnam (E Tonkin) and S China (Hainan). Hybridizes with canipennis in S Guangxi#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    21·5 cm. Medium-sized, noisy, conspicuous bulbul with slightly decurved bill, elongated crown feathers often raised into a crest. Nominate race has forehead chestnut,... read more


    Noisy throughout year. Sings with clear, simple, jolly, whistled phrases, e.g. “whi-wi-wu” or “to-... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, edges and secondary growth, in hilly lowlands up to 1000 m. Not... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats large quantities of small berries and other fruit; insects and larvae, including caterpillars, also caught, and apparently consumes... read more


    May–Jul in China; two or more broods. Breeds in territorial pairs. Nest built by female (unassisted?), a deep, compact, cup-shaped... read more


    Generally resident; some movement S in winter. In Hong Kong, where resident population exists, is... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Often common. Survives even in areas where human population is high. Range seems to be expanding and numbers increasing in some peripheral areas, e.g... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Chestnut Bulbul (Hemixos castanonotus). 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 19 August 2019).