The Black-crested Bulbul, Pycnonotus melanicterus, is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is found in southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia.
This is a bird of forest and dense scrub. It builds its nest in a bush; two to four eggs is a typical clutch. The Black-crested Bulbul feeds on fruit and insects.
The Black-crested Bulbul is about 19 cm in length, including its relatively long tail. It has olive upperparts and yellow or olive-yellow underparts. The head is black. Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults. The flight is bouncing and woodpecker-like.
A Flame-throated Bulbul
There are several distinctive taxa that generally have been considered subspecies of the Black-crested Bulbul, but increasingly are treated as separate species (and actually were considered separate species originally): The Ruby-throated Bulbul (P. dispar) from Sumatra and Java is virtually crestless, has a deep red throat and reddish eyes, the Flame-throated Bulbul (P. gularis) from the Western Ghats in India is virtually crestless, has an orange-red throat and whitish eyes, the Black-capped Bulbul (P. melanicterus) from Sri Lanka is virtually crestless, has a yellow throat and brownish eyes, and the Bornean Bulbul (P. montis) from Borneo has a black crest, yellow throat and brownish eyes. Confusingly, P. gularis has also been referred to as the Ruby-throated Bulbul. When all of the above are considered separate species, the Black-crested Bulbul is found from eastern Indian east to Vietnam and south to Peninsular Malaysia, and has a black crest, red or black throat and whitish eyes.
Displaying Gap Rest-House, Malaysia, Sept 1997