Red-whiskered Bulbul

A Red-whiskered Bulbul calling out from its perch. [Photographed by Peter Rowland]
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Scientific Name: Pycononotus jocosus

Size: 20 to 22 cm

What does it look like?

The Red-whiskered Bulbul is instantly identifiable by its pointed black crest.  The remaining plumage is brown above, with a white cheek and throat, mottled underparts and reddish undertail.  The red whisker, from where it derives its common name is situated below the eye, but is often difficult to see. 

Where is it found?

The Red-whiskered Bulbul is a native of southern Asia.  Since its introduction into Sydney in 1880, it has become a familiar sight. Birds were also successfully introduced into Melbourne, but no records are available as to when this occurred.  Although, the Melbourne population has remained fairly concentrated, from Sydney, the Red-whiskered Bulbul has spread to many areas along the east coast. 

What are its habitats & habits?

It is common around urban parks and gardens, where it feeds on a variety of native and introduced fruits, supplemented with insects. It is a confident bird around humans and will often allow close approach as it calls from a perch high in a bush or telegraph wire.

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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