Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Bulbul (Hypsipetes madagascariensis)


French: Bulbul de Madagascar German: Madagaskar-Rotschnabelbülbül Spanish: Bulbul malgache
Other common names: Madagascar Black Bulbul, Malagasy Bulbul

Turdus Madagascariensis

Statius Müller

, 1776,



Sister to H. olivaceus (which see). Birds from Grande Glorieuse I described as race grotei, largely on basis of putative differences in bill size and colour, but not satisfactorily distinguishable from nominate as any slight differences appear to involve individual, not geographical, variation. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. m. madagascariensis (Statius Müller, 1776) – Comoros (all four main islands and some islets), Glorieuse Archipelago (Grande Glorieuse I) and Madagascar.
  • H. m. rostratus (Ridgway, 1893) – Aldabra.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 24 cm; male 39–52 g, female 33–52 g. A medium-large, long-tailed, dark grey bulbul, pointed and loose crown feathers often raised to form shaggy crest.... read more


    Highly vocal; calls varied but unmelodic. Common element a brief nasal, disyllabic, penetrating,... read more


    Forest of all types, secondary growth, sparsely wooded savanna, orchards, plantations, scattered... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruit, also flowers and seeds; also arthropods, including hymenopterans (ants, wasps), ant-lions (Myrmeleonidae), beetles (Coleoptera),... read more


    Nesting recorded in Sept–Jan in Madagascar and Sept–Nov in Comoros; breeds mainly Oct–Jan on Aldabra. Nest hemispherical... read more


    No information; presumed sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to very common. Common to abundant throughout much of Madagascar, where it has adapted well to deforestation; recorded mean densities of up to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Madagascar Bulbul (Hypsipetes madagascariensis). 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 17 January 2020).