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Bulbul (Family: Pycnonotidae) - Wiki
Subject: Bulbul (Family: Pycnonotidae) - Wiki
Red vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) I IMG 6771.jpg
Resolution: 800x600 File Size: 133918 Bytes Date: 2005:12:10 08:45:25 Camera: Canon EOS 350D DIGITAL (Canon) F number: f/5.6 Exposure: 1/320 sec Focal Length: 300/1 Upload Date: 2007:10:26 15:15:19

Bulbul (Family: Pycnonotidae) - Wiki

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[Photo] Red-vented Bulbul. Pycnonotus cafer bengalensis race in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Date 10.12.05. Author J.M.Garg (
Copyright (C) 2005 J. M. Garg
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae) are a family of medium-sized passerine songbirds resident in Africa and tropical Asia. There are about 130 species.

These are mostly frugivorous birds. Some are colorful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throat or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive brown to black plumage. Some have very distinct crests.

Many of these species inhabit tree tops, while some are restricted to the undergrowth. Up to five purple-pink eggs are laid in an open tree nests and incubated by the female.

The Red-whiskered Bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus, has been widely introduced to tropical and subtropical areas, for example southern Florida, USA.

The word bulbul may derive from Persian (????????), or from Turkish (b??lb??l), meaning nightingale.

The traditional layout was to divide the bulbuls into 4 groups, named Pycnonotus, Phyllastrephus, Criniger, and Chlorocichla groups after characteristic genera (Delacour, 1943). However, more recent analyses demonstrated that this arrangement was probably based on erroneous interpretation of characters:

Comparison of mtDNA cytochrome b sequences found that five species of Phyllastrephus did not belong to the bulbuls, but to an enigmatic group of songbirds from Madagascar instead (Cibois et al., 2001; see below for the species in question). Similarly, sequence analysis of the nDNA RAG1 and RAG2 genes suggests that the genus Nicator is not a bulbul either (Beresford et al., 2005). That the previous arrangement had failed to take into account biogeography was indicated by the study of Pasquet et al. (2001) who demonstrated the genus Criniger must be divided into an African and an Asian (Alophoixus) lineage. Using analysis of one nDNA and 2 mtDNA sequences, Moyle & Marks (2006) found one largely Asian lineage and one African group of greenbuls and bristlebills; the Golden Greenbul seemes to be very distinct and form a group of its own. Some taxa are not monophyletic, and more research is necessary to determine relationships within the larger genera.

Systematic list

Genus Calyptocichla
Golden Greenbul, Calyptocichla serina
Typical bulbuls

Genus Pycnonotus (paraphyletic)
"Ancient" Asian bulbuls
Black-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus atriceps
Stripe-throated Bulbul, Pycnonotus finlaysoni
Red-whiskered Bulbul, Pycnonotus jocosus
Brown-breasted Bulbul, Pycnonotus xanthorrhous
Puff-backed Bulbul, Pycnonotus eutilotus
Black-and-white Bulbul, Pycnonotus melanoleucus
Pycnonotus proper
Black-crested Bulbul, Pycnonotus melanicterus
Grey-bellied Bulbul, Pycnonotus cyaniventris
Spectacled Bulbul, Pycnonotus erythropthalmos
Straw-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus zeylanicus
Red-eyed Bulbul, Pycnonotus brunneus
Olive-winged Bulbul, Pycnonotus plumosus
Yellow-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus goiavier
Black-fronted Bulbul, Pycnonotus nigricans
White-cheeked Bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys
Common Bulbul, Pycnonotus barbatus
Striated Bulbul, Pycnonotus striatus
Cream-striped Bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogrammicus
Spot-necked Bulbul, Pycnonotus tympanistrigus
Grey-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus priocephalus
Styan's Bulbul, Pycnonotus taivanus
Scaly-breasted Bulbul, Pycnonotus squamatus
Light-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus sinensis
Cape Bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis (type species)
White-spectacled Bulbul, Pycnonotus xanthopygos
White-eared Bulbul, Pycnonotus leucotis
Red-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer
Sooty-headed Bulbul, Pycnonotus aurigaster
Blue-wattled Bulbul, Pycnonotus nieuwenhuisii (disputed)
Yellow-wattled Bulbul, Pycnonotus urostictus
Orange-spotted Bulbul, Pycnonotus bimaculatus
Yellow-throated Bulbul, Pycnonotus xantholaemus
Yellow-eared Bulbul, Pycnonotus penicillatus
Flavescent Bulbul, Pycnonotus flavescens
White-browed Bulbul, Pycnonotus luteolus
Streak-eared Bulbul, Pycnonotus blanfordi
Cream-vented Bulbul, Pycnonotus simplex
Genus Spizixos
Crested Finchbill, Spizixos canifrons
Collared Finchbill, Spizixos semitorques
Genus Tricholestes
Hairy-backed Bulbul, Tricholestes criniger
Genus Setornis
Hook-billed Bulbul, Setornis criniger
Genus Alophoixus - formerly included in Criniger, possibly polyphyletic
Finsch's Bulbul, Alophoixus finschii
White-throated Bulbul, Alophoixus flaveolus
Puff-throated Bulbul, Alophoixus pallidus
Ochraceous Bulbul, Alophoixus ochraceus
Gray-cheeked Bulbul, Alophoixus bres
Yellow-bellied Bulbul, Alophoixus phaeocephalus
Golden Bulbul, Alophoixus affinis
Genus Iole
Olive Bulbul, Iole virescens
Grey-eyed Bulbul, Iole propinqua
Buff-vented Bulbul, Iole olivacea
Yellow-browed Bulbul, Iole indica
Genus Hemixos
Ashy Bulbul, Hemixos flavala
Chestnut Bulbul, Hemixos castanonotus
Genus Ixos (paraphyletic)
Close to Hemixos
Streaked Bulbul, Ixos malaccensis
Sulphur-bellied Bulbul, Ixos palawanensis - Hypsipetes?
Streak-breasted Bulbul, Ixos siquijorensis - Hypsipetes?
Yellowish Bulbul, Ixos everetti
Zamboanga Bulbul, Ixos rufigularis
Mountain Bulbul, Ixos mcclellandii
Sunda Bulbul, Ixos virescens
Genus Microscelis
Brown-eared Bulbul, Microscelis amaurotis (sometimes included in Ixos)
Genus Hypsipetes
Philippine Bulbul, Hypsipetes philippinus - formerly in Ixos
Madagascar Bulbul, Hypsipetes madagascariensis
Black Bulbul, Hypsipetes leucocephalus
Seychelles Bulbul, Hypsipetes crassirostris
Comoro Bulbul, Hypsipetes parvirostris
Reunion Bulbul, Hypsipetes borbonicus
Mauritius Bulbul, Hypsipetes olivaceus
Nicobar Bulbul, Hypsipetes virescens
White-headed Bulbul, Hypsipetes thompsoni
Typical greenbuls and allies

Genus Phyllastrephus (19 species)
Genus Andropadus (12 species; possibly polyphyletic)
Genus Criniger (5 species)
Genus Thescelocichla - Swamp Greenbul
Genus Chlorocichla (6 species)
Genus Ixonotus - Spotted Greenbul (tentatively placed here)
Genus Baeopogon (2 species)
Genus Bleda - bristlebills (3 species)
Incertae sedis

Genus Neolestes
Black-collared Bulbul, Neolestes torquatus

This might be allied to Calyptocichla or not be a bulbul at all.

Recently split from Pycnonotidae
Now in Malagasy warblers

Genus Bernieria - formerly in Phyllastrephus
Long-billed Greenbul, Bernieria madagascariensis
Genus Xanthomixis - formerly in Phyllastrephus; possibly polyphyletic
Spectacled Greenbul, Xanthomixis zosterops
Appert's Greenbul, Xanthomixis apperti
Dusky Greenbul, Xanthomixis tenebrosus
Gray-crowned Greenbul, Xanthomixis cinereiceps
Incertae sedis

Genus Nicator
Yellow-spotted Nicator, Nicator chloris
Eastern Nicator, Nicator gularis
Yellow-throated Nicator, Nicator vireo
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Striated bulbul
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