Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Near Threatened

Grey-headed Bulbul (Brachypodius priocephalus)


French: Bulbul colombar German: Graukopfbülbül Spanish: Bulbul cabecigrís

B[rachypus]. priocephalus


, 1839,

Peria pass, Malabar [= Kerala], India


Species name often misspelt “poiocephalus” owing to long-standing confusion in the literature, in part due to three attempted emendations by different authors. Monotypic.


Western Ghats (from extreme S Maharashtra and Goa S to Kerala) and Palni Hills (Tamil Nadu), in SW India.

Descriptive notes

17–19 cm. Small, active, peak-headed, olive-coloured bulbul. Anterior lores and forehead are bright greenish-yellow, rest of lores dull greenish (black feather bases... read more


Calls incessantly with shrill monosyllabic notes; vocalizations include thin, explosive, metallic,... read more


Usually confined to evergreen forest in areas receiving high rainfall; scarce in deciduous forest.... read more

Food and feeding

Diet comprises berries and other fruit, including figs (Ficus), Lantana and Ziziphus oenophila; also a small... read more


Breeds Mar–Jul. Nest a shallow cup, slight and flimsy, easily seen through from below, usually fastened with spider webs to branches... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Western Ghats EBA. Patchily distributed, but generally not uncommon in suitable habitat; common in the higher... read more

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L., Tobias, J. & de Juana, E. (2019). Grey-headed Bulbul (Brachypodius priocephalus). 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 October 2019).