Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii)


French: Bulbul de McClelland German: Grünflügelbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de McClelland

Hypsipetes McClellandii


, 1840,

Assam, India


Races fall into two groups: (a) “mcclellandii group” has bright ochre-rufous head sides and breast, with brownish mantle and slightly longer bill; (b) “tickelli group” has greyish head sides and breast, with green mantle, but tickelli and loquax showing some rufous shading to head sides; vocally, the two groups appear undifferentiated. Proposed race vargus (Nepal) appears indistinguishable from nominate; binghami (Southern Shan States, in Myanmar) thought to be a colour morph of tickelli, and treated as a synonym. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. m. mcclellandii (Horsfield, 1840) – Northern Mountain Bulbul – Nepal, N India (E Himalayas from Uttarakhand E to NE Arunachal, and hills from S Assam S to Mizoram) and NW Myanmar; reported also from SE Tibet.
  • I. m. ventralis Stresemann, 1940 – W & SW Myanmar (including Arakan); old reports from Bangladesh (Chittagong Hills).
  • I. m. similis (Rothschild, 1921) – S China (W & S Yunnan) and NE Myanmar S to N Indochina and Hainan.
  • I. m. holtii (Swinhoe, 1861) – C, S & SE China (C Sichuan, S Shaanxi, S Henan, C Anhui and N Zhejiang S to N Yunnan, S Guangxi and S Guangdong).
  • I. m. tickelli (Blyth, 1855) – Southern Mountain Bulbul – E Myanmar and NW Thailand.
  • I. m. loquax Deignan, 1940 – N & NE Thailand and S Laos (Bolaven Plateau).
  • I. m. griseiventer (Robinson & Kloss, 1919) – S Vietnam (S Annam).
  • I. m. canescens Riley, 1933 – SE Thailand and SW Cambodia.
  • I. m. peracensis (E. J. O. Hartert & Butler, 1898) – S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Descriptive notes

    21–24 cm; 27–41 g. Large, noisy, conspicuous bulbul with long slim bill, large square tail, generally bright olive above, with strong chestnut tone on underparts... read more


    Song in India (nominate race) a repetitive, deliberately paced series of screechy, slightly... read more


    Canopy of broadleaf evergreen forest, oak (Quercus) forest, rhododendron forest and pine... read more

    Food and feeding

    A generalist, eating fruit and insects, possibly also nectar. Eats many berries and other small fruits (e.g. Ficus vasculosa and... read more


    May–Aug in NE India, Feb–Aug in N Thailand and Mar–Sept in Peninsular Malaysia. Nest sometimes placed c. 6–13 m... read more


    Resident, subject to altitudinal movements. In India and Nepal, post-breeding descent to foothills... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common throughout range. Fairly common or common in hills of NE India, Nepal, Bhutan, much of Myanmar, N Thailand and Laos; the commonest... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Mountain Bulbul (Ixos mcclellandii). 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 7 December 2019).