Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Grey-olive Greenbul (Phyllastrephus cerviniventris)


French: Bulbul vert-olive German: Fahlbauchbülbül Spanish: Bulbul verdioliva

Phyllostrophus [sic] cerviniventris


, 1894,

Zomba and Tschiromo, Malawi


Birds from SE DRCongo described as race schoutedeni on basis of darker and greyer underparts and less rufous tail feathers, but not satisfactorily distinguishable. Monotypic.


C & S Kenya, N & E Tanzania, extreme SE DRCongo, N & C Zambia, extreme E Angola, much of Malawi and parts of N Mozambique.

Descriptive notes

c. 18 cm; male 28·5–33 g, female 23·5 g. Medium-sized greenbul with striking orange or yellow eyes and pale legs. Lores are pale grey, side of face and ear-coverts... read more


Calls include rasping, nasal “yekk-yekk-yekk”, “ke-wek, wek wek wark” or continuous “zer-zer-zer-... read more


Riparian thicket, gallery forest, groundwater forest, bamboo thicket and moist evergreen forest;... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods, including beetles (Coleoptera) and grasshoppers (Orthoptera); also some fruit. Occurs in pairs or small groups; has been... read more


Nesting recorded in Dec in Kenya, Sept–Nov and Apr (and in breeding condition in Oct) in Zambia, and Apr–May, Aug and Oct... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally scarce; may be locally fairly common. Known to occur in a number of protected areas.

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Grey-olive Greenbul (Phyllastrephus cerviniventris). 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).