Light-vented Bulbul

Light-vented Bulbul
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis sinensis, also known as Chinese Bulbul, Yangkou-Rudong, Jiangsu, China, May. (Craig Brelsford)
Light-vented Bulbul
Light-vented Bulbul P. s. hainanus, Lake Tianchi (18.741325, 108.863368), Jianfengling Nature Reserve, Hainan, China, elev. 850 m (2,790 ft.), January. (Craig Brelsford)
Light-vented Bulbul
Light-vented Bulbul P. s. formosae, National Pingtung University (22.639118, 120.616307), Taiwan, elev. 60 m (210 ft.), February. (Craig Brelsford)
Light-vented Bulbul
Light-vented Bulbul foraging in the snow, Hohhot Botanical Garden (40.811508, 111.636231), Inner Mongolia, China, elev. 1050 m (3,450 ft.), January. In recent decades range of sinensis has expanded northward. (Craig Brelsford)

Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis, also known as Chinese Bulbul, is among the most conspicuous birds of Shanghai. Historical range covers central and southern China, with sinensis on mainland and hainanus Hainan. Also formosae Taiwan, where hybridizes with Styan’s Bulbul P. taivanus. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Forests and scrub. Has adapted readily to disturbed habitats, being found in parks and gardens in the centers of even the largest cities. Noisy, sociable, often congregating in flocks, often perching on trees and telephone wires. ID & COMPARISON Head black and (esp. in sinensis) has slight crest. White patch widens out from eye, covering nape. Small white spot on ear coverts. Mantle, back, and wings greyish-green, with yellow fringes to flight feathers. Chin and vent white. Juvenile has browner upperparts, lacks white stripe behind eye, and has no white ear coverts. Brown-breasted Bulbul P. xanthorrhous has brown ear coverts, no white stripe on nape, and a yellow vent. Sooty-headed Bulbul P. aurigaster has red vent and black chin and top of head. BARE PARTS Bill, legs black. VOICE Coarse, whistling warble typical of genus; song busy, cheerful, melodious. — Craig Brelsford

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

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

See also:

Styan’s Bulbul Pycnonotus taivanus


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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