Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Grey-cheeked Bulbul (Alophoixus tephrogenys)


French: Bulbul à joues grises German: Grauwangenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul carigrís

Trichophorus tephrogenys

Jardine and Selby

, 1833,

uncertain, possibly India = Malacca


Until recently considered conspecific with A. bres and A. frater, but differs from latter in characters given under that species. Differs from former in its grey vs brown ear-coverts (2); dirtier white and less sharply demarcated throat (2); dirty pale vs strong yellow breast and belly (2); cinnamon vs yellow undertail-coverts (ns[2]); browner, less green, upperparts (ns[1]); divergent call notes (sample size very small, but at least 1). Further, differences in song reported#R. Taxon gutturalis suggested as possibly a separate species, with fairly distinct mtDNA haplotype and striking differences in plumage#R; investigation required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. t. tephrogenys Jardine & Selby, 1833 – S Myanmar (Tenasserim S of c. 14° N), S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia (not Singapore) and E Sumatra.
  • A. t. gutturalis (Bonaparte, 1850) – Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–23 cm; 29–44 g, male 41–46 g, female 51–52 g and unsexed 32–51 g (gutturalis). Short-crested, bulky bulbul; crest is less prominent than in A. ochraceus... read more


    Seems to vocalize semi-constantly, producing wide range of melodious whistles. Song of clear, well-... read more


    Mature broadleaf evergreen, tidal swamp and mixed deciduous forest, also edges, logged and... read more

    Food and feeding

    A generalist, eating large amounts of both fruit and invertebrates. Various shade-layer fruits taken, including Eurycoma longifolia... read more


    Breeds Apr–Jul in N Thailand and Jan–Jul in Peninsular Malaysia; on Borneo, in breeding condition in Feb, Apr, May and Jun. Nest a standard... read more


    Resident; appears unusually territorial for a bulbul.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Sometimes uncommon and regarded as Near Threatened in Peninsular Malaysia, but usually common to very common throughout much of range... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Grey-cheeked Bulbul (Alophoixus tephrogenys). 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 January 2020).