Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Philippine Bulbul (Hypsipetes philippinus)


French: Bulbul des Philippines German: Rostbrustbülbül Spanish: Bulbul filipino
Other common names: Steere's Bulbul (guimarasensis)

[Turdus] philippinus

J. R. Forster

, 1795,

Luzon, Philippines


Previously placed in Ixos (see H. rufigularis, above); often treated as conspecific with H. rufigularis (which see for differences). Recent molecular analyses indicate considerable genetic structure within present species, but the finding that guimarasensis, almost indistinguishable from nominate, is sister to H. rufigularis and H. everetti#R is counterintuitive and needs independent confirmation (although voice somewhat divergent); the finding that race mindorensis is sister to H. siquijorensis#R somewhat more plausible but again requires corroboration (voice generally like that of nominate philippinus). Original species name philippensis invalid, as preoccupied. Five subspecies provisionally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. p. philippinus (J. R. Forster, 1795) – Philippine Bulbul – N Philippines (Luzon, Corregidor, Fortune, Lubang, Polillo, Calagua Is, Marinduque, Banton, Catanduanes).
  • H. p. parkesi duPont, 1980 – Burias.
  • H. p. saturatior (E. J. O. Hartert, 1916) – EC & S Philippines (Samar, Buad, Balut, Biliran, Leyte, Cebu, Olango, Mactan, Bohol, Panaon, Calicoan, Mindanao except Zamboanga Peninsula, Cabo, Talicud, Pujada).
  • H. p. mindorensis (Steere, 1890) – Mindoro Bulbul – Mindoro and Semirara.
  • H. p. guimarasensis (Steere, 1890) – Visayan Bulbul – WC Philippines (Ticao, Masbate, Carabao, Boracay, Panay, Gigantes, Calagnaan, Sicogon, Bantayan, Guimaras, Negros, Verde).
  • Descriptive notes

    22 cm; male 25–45 g, female 22–42 g. Large, noisy, conspicuous bulbul. Nominate race has brownish-grey crown, each feather with light grey fringing; ear-coverts... read more


    Musical. Distinct racial variation inadequately sampled, but nominate race gives “deut doo doo doo... read more


    Interior of broadleaf evergreen forest, forest edge, shrubby clearings and secondary growth; also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes much fruit and probably some insects, but no details available. Usually found singly or in pairs, less often in small (family... read more


    Breeding activity recorded Jan–Jul; birds with enlarged gonads and a nestling found in Apr on Mindanao, and birds with enlarged... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common or very common throughout much of range. Its tolerance of degraded and shrubby habitats suggests that it faces no imminent threat of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Philippine Bulbul (Hypsipetes philippinus). 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 11 December 2019).