Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Xavier's Greenbul (Phyllastrephus xavieri)


French: Bulbul de Xavier German: Xavierbülbül Spanish: Bulbul de Xavier

Xenocichla Xavieri


, 1892,

Bangui, on Ubangi River, Central African Republic


Closely related to P. icterinus (which see). Birds from Cameroon (N & W of Mt Cameroon) described as race serlei on basis of paler and duller yellow underparts, with darker olive wash on breast, but these characters fall within range of variation of the species elsewhere. Monotypic.


Extreme SE Nigeria and W Cameroon E to SW Central African Republic, S to C Gabon and NE Congo; also EC DRCongo E to W & S Uganda and extreme NW Tanzania. Distribution probably not fully resolved owing to confusion with P. icterinus.

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; male 23–31 g, female 16–22 g. Smallish greenbul with conspicuous yellow throat. Has lores and ear-coverts pale olive-green with some yellowish... read more


Short, nasal “kwah, kwah, kwah…kwahkwah” and more drawn-out, squeaky “kwèèèh” or “kèèh”, uttered in... read more


Primary and old secondary evergreen and semi-deciduous forest, and swamp-forest; occurs both in... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods, including orthopterans, beetles (Coleoptera), moths (Lepidoptera), caterpillars, mantids, spiders (Araneae); also some fruit... read more


Birds in breeding condition in Jan–Mar and Aug and dependent fledglings in Jan–Feb in Cameroon; nest thought to be of this... read more


Resident, so far as known. Ringed individual in Gabon retrapped at same site after 68 months.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Status obscured owing to confusion with the more widespread and common P. icterinus; considered locally common to uncommon. Occurs in many... read more

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Xavier's Greenbul (Phyllastrephus xavieri). 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 12 December 2019).