Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Leaf-love (Pyrrhurus scandens)


French: Bulbul à queue rousse German: Uferbülbül Spanish: Bulbul colirrojizo
Other common names: Red-tailed Leaf-love

Phyllastrephus scandens


, 1837,

West Africa


Proposed races acedis (R Ogobai, in Gabon) and upembae (S DRCongo) not satisfactorily distinguishable from orientalis (former averages darker above with more rufous tail, latter has paler browner tail). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. scandens (Swainson, 1837) – Gambia and SW Senegal, E Guinea-Bissau and W Guinea E to N Cameroon.
  • P. s. orientalis (Hartlaub, 1883) – N Cameroon E to extreme S South Sudan, and S to S Congo and W & S DRCongo (scattered localities in Kwango, Kasai and Katanga); also C Uganda, extreme NE Rwanda, extreme W Tanzania and recently NE Angola (at least Lagoa Carumbo and Capaia in Luanda Norte#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 22 cm; male 61–67 g (nominate), male 43–53 g, female 33–51 g (orientalis). Large, handsome distinctively coloured bulbul, feathers of lower back... read more


    Song begins with a few subdued nasal notes, “kawp, kawpa”, then bursts into loud, rapid, exuberant... read more


    Marked preference for waterside habitats; forest fringing rivers, gallery forest and thicket, also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars, termites (Isoptera); also small gastropods, berries... read more


    Nesting recorded in Oct in Sudan, Jan in Liberia, Dec–Feb in Ghana, Dec–Jan in Cameroon and Oct–Nov in DRCongo; carrying... read more


    Resident, so far as known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common; has large range, but distribution fragmented. At least some gaps in its distribution are real, as it is not an easy species to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Leaf-love (Pyrrhurus scandens). 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 21 August 2019).