Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Cream-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus simplex)


French: Bulbul aux yeux blancs German: Weißaugenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul ojiblanco

Picnonotus [sic] simplex


, 1839,



May warrant placement in a separate genus, alongside some other bulbuls of SE Asia and Sundaic region. Wide individual variation found throughout range. Race halizonus barely distinguishable, and may not be valid; proposed race axanthizus (Natuna Is) included in halizonus. In addition, chloeoides (NW Sumatra), perplexus (N Borneo) and oblitus (Bangka, Belitung and W Borneo) all poorly differentiated, or described on basis of eye-colour morphs; all included in nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. simplex Lesson, 1839 – S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia S, including Riau and Lingga Archipelagos, to Sumatra (including Bangka, Batu, Belitung, Nias I), and Borneo (including Balambangan I).
  • P. s. prillwitzi E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 – Java.
  • P. s. halizonus Oberholser, 1917 – Anambas Is and Natuna Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    18 cm. Medium-small, nondescript, noisy, conspicuous bulbul. Nominate race has head (except throat) and upperparts uniform dark warm olive-brown, upperwings with brighter... read more


    Short, emphatic song phrases, “quik chop” and “quik-plik chop”, and... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest (mature and disturbed), edges, secondary growth, peatswamp-forest, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruit; also insects, including cockroaches (Blattodea) and caterpillars. Regularly forages on mass-produced small fruit (e.g. Fagraea... read more


    Feb–Oct. Builds cup-shaped nest, using small twigs, creeper tendrils and rootlets; one individual in Borneo gathered cobweb into a... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common or very common across much of range. Has presumably suffered rapid decline in lowland Sumatra and Java, where forest has been cleared... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Cream-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus simplex). 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 24 February 2020).