Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Near Threatened

Yellow-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus)


French: Bulbul oreillard German: Schmuckbülbül Spanish: Bulbul orejudo

Pycnonotus penicillatus


, 1851,

Sri Lanka


Often placed in monotypic Kelaartia, to which it should perhaps be returned. Monotypic.


Highlands of Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

20 cm; 36–37 g. A striking, rotund bulbul. Crown, lores, cheeks, forehead, eyestripe and moustachial stripe are black; head adorned with bristly yellow tufts to rear of... read more


Often calls when flying between trees; main vocalization an even-tempo, energetic series of 2... read more


Forest and adjacent wooded farms, gardens and regrowth, in mid-canopy, thickets and dense... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on fruit. Gathers in small flocks at fruiting trees, often accompanying mixed-species flocks. Fairly shy; generally keeps to dense... read more


Feb–May and Aug–Oct. Nest a fairly substantial cup-shaped structure, made from moss, with some leaf fragments, pieces of dry... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sri Lanka EBA. Abundant in Central Province of Sri Lanka. Not at any... read more

Recommended citation

Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Yellow-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus). 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 23 February 2020).