White-eared bulbul

The white-eared bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis) is a member of the bulbul family. It is found in south-western Asia from India to the Arabian peninsula.

White-eared bulbul
Pycnonotus leucotis 1.jpg
In Keoladeo National Park, Rajastan, India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
P. leucotis
Binomial name
Pycnonotus leucotis
(Gould, 1836)
Pycnonotus leucotis leucogenys map editation 1.png
Native range of P. leucotis (light green) and P. leucogenys (dark green) in the South Asian region
  • Ixos leucotis
  • Pycnonotus leucogenys leucotis

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The white-eared bulbul was originally described in the genus Ixos. The white-eared bulbul is considered to belong to a superspecies along with the Himalayan bulbul, white-spectacled bulbul, African red-eyed bulbul, Cape bulbul, and the common bulbul.[2] Formerly, some authorities considered the white-eared bulbul to be a subspecies of the Himalayan Bulbul.


Two subspecies are recognized:[3]

  • Arabian white-cheeked bulbul (P. l. mesopotamia) - Ticehurst, 1918: Found in north-eastern Arabia, southern Iraq and south-western Iran
  • P. l. leucotis - (Gould, 1836): Found in southern Iran, southern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western India

Description and vocalisationsEdit

The white-eared bulbul is rotund in appearance, and has a brownish-grey body. The tail of this bird is relatively long, tapering outwards. Starting off black, the tail feathers end in white tips. The head of the white-eared bulbul is black, with the area around its cheeks bearing a large white spot. The eye rings of the bulbul are bare, and the beak short. The vent of the bird is bright yellow.

The white-eared bulbul does not have a uniform song but rather a set of notes, which can be used to chirp different melodies. The song is brief, but is described as being “pleasant and fluid.”[4]


It is native to the western reaches of India, much of Pakistan, southern Afghanistan, coastal Iran, as well as much of the two-river basin in Iraq, Kuwait, and the island of Bahrain.[5]

It has been introduced to the remaining Arabian Gulf countries including Oman, the UAE, and Qatar. [6]


The species is listed by the IUCN as "Least Concern" as of 2018 but population sizes are declining.[1]



  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2018). "Pycnonotus leucotis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22712687A132101885. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22712687A132101885.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Himalayan Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucogenys)". www.hbw.com. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  3. ^ "Bulbuls « IOC World Bird List". www.worldbirdnames.org. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  4. ^ "EBird - Pycnonotus leucotis".
  5. ^ "EBird - Birds of the world".
  6. ^ "EBird - Kuwaitbirds".
  • Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (1999) and multiple reprints. Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp, Oxford University Press, New Delhi

External linksEdit