Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)


Moheli Bulbul (Hypsipetes moheliensis)


French: Bulbul de Mohéli German: Mohéli-Rotschnabelbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de la Mohéli

Microscelis crassirostris moheliensis


, 1960,

Bandamale, 500 m, Mohéli, Comoro Islands


Originally described as a race of H. crassirostris, but subsequently treated as a race of H. parvirostris. Molecular analysis#R suggests that it is not sister to parvirostris, and indeed it differs in its notably darker grey-brown underparts, with little or no white on belly (3); deeper red bill (1); strikingly larger size (effect size 3.06 for tail of unsexed birds vs male H. parvirostris; score 2); and slightly different song, not so distinct as suggested in HBW, but lower-pitched (1) and with raspier, less “gargling” notes (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Mohéli (Mwali), in C Comoros.

Descriptive notes

c. 25 cm; 58–68 g. Large, olive bulbul, loose and pointed feathers of crown and nape often raised to form shaggy crest, closest in appearance to allopatric H.... read more


Vocalizations similar in structure but slower than those of H. parvirostris, with song... read more


In forests of the island’s central ridge, mainly above 200–400 m, to 790 m. It replaces H.... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Berries and other fruit, including exotic Rubus rosifolius, and insects (e.g. ants), the latter sometimes... read more


Nothing known beyond fact that juveniles have been observed in Feb; breeding not suspected to occur prior to Oct.


No information; probably sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Population estimated at fewer than 2500 mature individuals (or < 1000 pairs) and is declining. Restricted-range species: present in Comoro Islands EBA. Common... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Moheli Bulbul (Hypsipetes moheliensis). 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 August 2019).