Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-bellied Bulbul (Alophoixus phaeocephalus)


French: Bulbul à calotte grise German: Schwefelbülbül Spanish: Bulbul capirotado

Ixos (Trichixos) phaeocephalus


, 1844,

Melaka, Peninsular Malaysia


According to some recent authors#R, deep mtDNA divergences and clear plumage differences suggest that nominate race and connectens may represent two separate species, with sulphuratus and diardi together constituting a third species; delimitation of races in Borneo is complex, variation appearing clinal, and perhaps only extremes merit recognition; further study required, including investigation of vocal differences and identification of exact areas of overlap of taxa in Borneo (where species probably present throughout). Three putative races (caniceps, rufocaudatus, cantori) merged with nominate; medius (Long Petah, in E Borneo) indistinguishable from sulphuratus. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. p. phaeocephalus (Hartlaub, 1844) – extreme S Myanmar (extreme S Tenasserim), S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra (including Bintang, Lingga, Bangka, Belitung, Siberut and Sipura) and N Natuna Is.
  • A. p. connectens Chasen & Kloss, 1929 – NE Borneo.
  • A. p. sulphuratus (Bonaparte, 1850) – C Borneo (E Sarawak and W Sabah S to SE Kalimantan).
  • A. p. diardi (Finsch, 1867) – W Borneo (S from R Baram).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–20·5 cm; 23–40 g. Large, brightly coloured, relatively retiring bulbul, eyes contrasting sharply with pale face, elongated chin and throat often puffed... read more


    Calls with subdued harsh, slightly buzzy “whi’ee whi’ee whi’ee”, or (... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, well-developed secondary growth (having relatively closed canopy, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    A generalist, eating both fruit and insects. At Kerau, in Peninsular Malaysia, parties visiting fig (Ficus) crops took fruit of... read more


    Breeds Apr–Aug. Rate of retrapping in lowland forest in Peninsular Malaysia suggests that pair probably territorial. Clutch 2 eggs.... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally fairly common to common throughout much of range. Extinct in Singapore for at least five decades, following deforestation. In mature... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2019). Yellow-bellied Bulbul (Alophoixus phaeocephalus). 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).