Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Near Threatened

Reunion Bulbul (Hypsipetes borbonicus)


French: Bulbul de Bourbon German: Réunionbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de Reunión
Other common names: Reunion Black Bulbul

Turdus Borbonicus

J. R. Forster#R

, 1781,

Bourbon (Reunion)


In past, often treated as conspecific with H. olivaceus, but differs in behaviour, voice and eye colour; treatment as separate species supported by molecular studies#R. Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

c. 22 cm; male 51 g, female 57·2 g, unsexed 43–56 g. A medium-large grey-brown bulbul with pale eye, long orange bill, and loose and erectile pointed crown feathers.... read more


Four main types of vocalization recognized, a “chuckle”, a “cat call”, a stress “kek” and soft... read more


Mixed evergreen forest, to lesser extent also degraded forest and native Acacia heterophylla... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly frugivorous; flowers, nectar and some insects also taken. Native fruits include, in particular, Aphloia theiformis, also... read more


Nesting recorded in Jul–Feb, coinciding with dry season and start of rains; recent fledglings in Feb and juvenile in Mar; possibly... read more


Seasonal altitudinal migration recorded. Post-breeding movement to lower elevations in Feb–... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Réunion EBA. Uncommon; most frequent in native mixed evergreen... read more

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Reunion Bulbul (Hypsipetes borbonicus). 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).