Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Crested Finchbill (Spizixos canifrons)


French: Bulbul à gros bec German: Finkenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul picogrueso

Sp[izixos]. canifrons


, 1845,

Cherrapunji, Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India


Placed in genus Pycnonotus by some authors#R. Proposed races nobilis (Assam, in NE India) and laotianus (Laos) considered too poorly differentiated to warrant recognition, and thus merged into, respectively, nominate and ingrami. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. c. canifrons Blyth, 1845 – NE India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, possibly also NE Arunachal Pradesh) and W Myanmar.
  • S. c. ingrami Bangs & J. C. Phillips, 1914 – E Myanmar, S China (SW Sichuan, Yunnan, SW Guizhou), NW Thailand, N Laos and NW Vietnam (W Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–22 cm; 44 g. Medium-large, noisy, conspicuous bulbul with short, conical bill. Most of head is dark grey, forehead pale grey, chin, throat, mask and rear crown... read more


    Dry, bubbling, trilled song described as “purr-purr-prruit-prruit-prruit”, also a loud... read more


    Open and stunted evergreen and deciduous forest, montane scrub, secondary growth and grasses; fond... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on seeds (e.g. millet, grass), beans, peas, various types of fruit (e.g. Leucospectrum in Myanmar); also insects, including... read more


    Mar–Jul; most pairs in Chin Hills (NW Myanmar) had nestlings by late Apr. Apparently breeds co-operatively, although evidence rather... read more


    Resident; does not usually descend to lower altitudes in harsh weather, but has been recorded down... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in highlands of Myanmar and N Thailand, but scarce in China. Nominate race possibly occurs also in SE Bangladesh (reported from... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Crested Finchbill (Spizixos canifrons). 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 28 February 2020).