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Red-vented Bulbul - BirdForum Opus

Ssp. cafer
Photo © by kctsang
Sri Lanka, July 2010
Pycnonotus cafer


19–20 cm (7½-8 in)

  • Brownish-black upperparts
  • White rump
  • Brownish-black breast
  • White underparts
  • Red around the vent
  • Black head and small bushy crest
  • Long white-tipped tail

Sexes similar; young birds are duller

Ssp. humayuni
Photo © by Rajiv Lather
Karnal, India, June 2006


Asia: found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and south-western China.

They have been introduced to many areas including Fiji, Hawaii, Texas, Bahrain, Argentina, Samoa,and Tonga. They are also commonly seen in urban parts of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.



Ssp. intermedius
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dwarahat, Uttarakhand Himalayas, Alt. 5200 ft, India, April-2017

There are 9 subspecies[1]:

  • P. c. intermedius: Himalayas (western Pakistan to western Uttar Pradesh)
  • P. c. humayuni: Pakistan (Salt Range) and north-western India
  • P. c. bengalensis: Eastern Himalayas (eastern Uttar Pradesh) to north-eastern India, Nepal and Bhutan
  • P. c. wetmorei: North-eastern peninsula India
  • P. c. primrosei: Southern Assam (south of the Brahmaputra), Bangladesh and West Bengal
  • P. c. pusillus South India (Bombay, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra to Kerala)
  • P. c. cafer: Sri Lanka
  • P. c. stanfordi: Northern Burma to extreme south-western China (western Yunnan)
  • P. c. melanchimus: South-central Burma (Mandalay to Rangoon)


Scrub, open dry deciduous woodland, plains and cultivated land, orchards and gardens.



They builds their nest in a bush; the clutch consists of 2-3 eggs.


The diet includes fruit, buds, nectar, insects and invertebrates.


A very noisy species

Listen in an external program Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Janakpuri, Delhi, India, Sep.-2016
Call recorded in an urban garden, 7.15 am.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. PBase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2015)

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