Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus)


French: Bulbul à sourcils blancs German: Weißbrauenbülbül Spanish: Bulbul cejiblanco

Haematornis luteolus


, 1841,

Mumbai, India


Proposed race flavirictus (Tamil Nadu, in S India) indistinguishable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. l. luteolus (Lesson, 1841) – peninsular India (E Gujarat, S Madhya Pradesh and S West Bengal S to Tamil Nadu and Kerala); possibly also in dry zone of Sri Lanka.
  • P. l. insulae Whistler & Kinnear, 1932 – Sri Lanka (with possible exception of dry zone).
  • Descriptive notes

    20 cm; 28–43 g. A dingy olive, unkempt, bulky, relatively inconspicuous bulbul with quite short, decurved bill. Nominate has grey-brown crown, whitish forehead, broad... read more


    Heard more often than seen. Song a long, loud, ebullient, cacophonous flurry that starts with a few... read more


    Open and largely cultivated habitats. Occurs in dry woodland edge, second growth, scrub country and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Bulk of diet comprises fruit and berries; small amount of invertebrates consumed, including spiders (Araneae) and a range of insects.... read more


    Mainly Mar–Sept, but nests found in all months; usually Aug–Mar in S India (Tamil Nadu), but variable, depending on... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Abundant in much of peninsular India, occurring wherever there is vegetation; absent from humid areas, e.g. moist woods of Western Ghats. Abundant,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus). 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).