Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Olive Bulbul (Iole viridescens)


French: Bulbul olive German: Olivbülbül Spanish: Bulbul verdoso

Iole viridescens


, 1867,

Arakan, Myanmar


Taxonomic status, morphological characters and vocalizations of populations in NE India and Myanmar uncertain or confusing, and perhaps more than one species involved#R. Species name previously listed as virescens, but this name preoccupied, and replaced before 1961 so permanently invalid#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. v. cacharensis (Deignan, 1948) – NE India (S Assam hills, extreme W Manipur, and Meghalaya) and E & SE Bangladesh (Tippera, Chittagong).
  • I. v. myitkyinensis (Deignan, 1948) – NE & E Myanmar.
  • I. v. viridescens Blyth, 1867 – W, SW & S Myanmar (including Arakan) and SW Thailand.
  • Descriptive notes

    19 cm. A small, drab bulbul. Nominate race has side of head yellowish-olive; ear-coverts generally appear paler than crown; crown and upperparts strongly tinged olive,... read more


    In Thailand (nominate race), a common call, given fairly persistently, is strongly upslurred,... read more


    Moist broadleaf evergreen forest, semi-evergreen forest and tall secondary growth (e.g. in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mainly on berries, sometimes insects. Usually in pairs or small (family?) parties; reports of flocks of over 100 individuals require... read more


    Feb–Sept, mainly Mar–Jun, varying locally. Only information on nest is from old records from N India (identification possibly... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Mostly very local, but probably overlooked. In India, apparently rare in Khasi Hills and Garo Hills of Meghalaya, mostly at their fringes; very local... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Olive Bulbul (Iole viridescens). 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 18 August 2019).