Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Swamp Palm Bulbul (Thescelocichla leucopleura)


French: Bulbul des raphias German: Palmenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de las rafias
Other common names: Swamp Greenbul

Phyllostrophus [sic] leucopleurus


, 1855,

Mondah River, Gabon




S Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea E, including isolated population in C Nigeria (Jos Plateau), to extreme W Uganda, S to Congo, N Angola (Cabinda) and E DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

c. 23 cm; male 61–67 g, female 58–60 g. A large, conspicuous and distinctive bulbul. Lores, cheeks and ear-coverts are olive-brown with conspicuous white centres... read more


Most common vocalization a raucous nasal cackling made by foraging flock, begins quietly, in fairly... read more


Swampy forest areas with palm trees, particularly Raphia, to lesser extent, Elaeis... read more

Food and feeding

Fruit, including Ficus, Heisteria, Macaranga, Morinda, Musanga, Schleffera, ... read more


Nesting recorded in Feb in Ghana, Feb, May and Jul (and in breeding condition in Sept–Oct) in Cameroon, and Jan, Mar–Apr and... read more


Largely sedentary; some nomadism recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and, in suitable habitat, common. Recorded in numerous protected areas including Marahoué National Park, in Ivory Coast, Kakum National... read more

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Swamp Palm Bulbul (Thescelocichla leucopleura). 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 28 January 2020).