Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos)


French: Bulbul oeil-de-feu German: Brillenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de anteojos

I[xos]. erythropthalmos

A. O. Hume

, 1878,

Pakchan Estuary, Myanmar


See P. brunneus. Form on Borneo was initially separated as race pusillus, then renamed salvadorii, but indistinguishable in larger series from other populations. Three other described races, cyanochrous, isus and pammicrus (all from W Sumatran islands), also synonymized. Species name often misspelt erythrophthalmos or erythropthalmus. Monotypic.


S Myanmar (Tenasserim), S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (including Banyak, Nias, Batu, Lingga Archipelago, Bangka, Belitung) and Borneo.

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; 16–22 g. Lores, face down to gape, and ear-coverts are olive-brown with greyish cast; rest of cap to back warm olive-brown, rump and uppertail-coverts... read more


Usual song a distinctive, repeated, rather high-pitched mechanical phrase, also described as a... read more


Middle stratum and understorey of mature and regenerating broadleaf evergreen forest, peatswamp-... read more

Food and feeding

Fruit; some specimens had also consumed whole flowers and buds; a certain amount of insects (including caterpillars) also eaten. Nestling... read more


Feb–Aug. Nest a deep open cup built of twigs, dead leaves, rootlets and vegetable fibres, lined with fine dry grass; one was 3 m up... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common in most of range; rare in S Myanmar. Generally less common than P. simplex and P. brunneus (and less often in groups... read more

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Spectacled Bulbul (Pycnonotus erythropthalmos). 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).