Sooty-headed Bulbul

Sooty-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus aurigaster is a mainly Southeast Asian species, in southern China from Sichuan to Fujian. Three ssp. in China: chrysorrhoides Fujian and eastern Guangdong (including Hong Kong), resurrectus western Guangdong and southern Guangxi, and latouchei in western end of range. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Lowland scrub and secondary growth, often near man. Forms noisy flocks with other bulbul species. ID & COMPARISON Chin, face, and cap (including weak crest) black. Rump greyish-white, vent red. Upperparts mostly grey with browner wings. Underparts paler grey. Tail tends toward black. Juvenile like adult but has duller head and yellow vent. Red-whiskered Bulbul P. jocosus has conspicuous pointed crest and red patch behind eye. Brown-breasted Bulbul P. xanthorrhous has brownish ear coverts and yellow vent. BARE PARTS Bill, feet black. VOICE Harsh rasps, melodious chirps, and fluty gurgles. — 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

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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