Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Pale-faced Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucops)


French: Bulbul à face pâle German: Weißwangenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul cariclaro

Oreoctistes leucops


, 1888,

Mt Kinabalu, 7000–8000 feet [c. 2130–2440 m], Borneo


Initially described in monotypic Oreoctistes, but hitherto treated as conspecific with P. flavescens (although prime candidacy for species rank indicated in HBW). Differs from that species in its white on eyebrow and lores, and paler throat and slightly paler underparts (3); less yellow in wing fringes, wing-coverts and tail (1); darker colour overall, including on crown (1); slightly longer bill and wings (effect size for male wing 1.41, score 1) but clearly shorter tail (effect size −2.21, score 2); fewer, slower notes in homologous rattling call (at least 2)#R. Monotypic.

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

N & NC mountain ranges of Borneo (Mt Kinabalu S to Gunung Mulu and Gunung Murud, and Gunung Lunjut).

Descriptive notes

17·5–19 cm. Compared to the formerly conspecific P. flavescens of mainland SE Asia, adult of present species is smaller, has greyish-brown crown, white supercilium,... read more


Has short (c. 1 second-long), quiet, simple, repetitive song rendered “kw’t-kw’t tu-weeti-weeti” (... read more


Inhabits tall bushes, thickets and clearings in hill dipterocarp, lower and upper montane forests,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly small-sized fruits, e.g. wild raspberries (Rubus), small figs (Ficus) and Mallotus. Usually seen... read more


Nothing known.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: confined to N part of the Bornean mountains EBA. Generally considered to be scarce to locally common;... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pale-faced Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucops). 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 25 January 2020).