Brown-breasted Bulbul

Brown-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthorrhous xanthorrhous occurs in parts of Yunnan, Sichuan, and Tibet, and andersoni in the rest of southern China (but not Hainan or Taiwan), central China almost to the Yellow River, and eastern China to just south of the Yangtze. Fairly common throughout range, where it lives above 800 m, often on hillsides in secondary growth, tangles, and scrub, sometimes in noisy flocks. Slightly crested crown and nape black, brown ear coverts usually separated from white chin by black moustache. Upperparts dull brown. Nominate race has greyish-brown breast band; in andersoni, breast band faint or absent. Vent yellow. Sooty-headed bulbul has black chin and lacks brownish ear coverts; Chinese subspecies of sooty-headed have red vent. Chinese bulbul has white vent, white spot on ear coverts, white streak behind eye extending across nape, and yellow on wing. Bill and feet black. Calls simple, harsh, rolling whistles. Song a burst of notes, often repeated. — Craig Brelsford

THE BULBULS OF CHINA covers most members of Pycnonotidae in China. Click any link below:

White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus
Puff-throated Bulbul A. pallidus
Striated Bulbul Alcurus striatus
Grey-eyed Bulbul Iole propinqua
Ashy Bulbul Hemixos flavala
Chestnut Bulbul H. castanonotus
Mountain Bulbul Ixos mcclellandii
Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis
Black Bulbul H. leucocephalus
Black-headed Bulbul Brachypodius melanocephalos
Black-crested Bulbul Rubigula flaviventris
Crested Finchbill Spizixos canifrons
Collared Finchbill S. semitorques
Stripe-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus finlaysoni
Flavescent Bulbul P. flavescens
Brown-breasted Bulbul P. xanthorrhous
Light-vented Bulbul P. sinensis
Red-whiskered Bulbul P. jocosus
Yellow-vented Bulbul P. goiavier
Red-vented Bulbul P. cafer
Sooty-headed Bulbul P. aurigaster
Himalayan Bulbul P. leucogenys


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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