Red-whiskered Bulbul

Scientific Name: Pycnonotus jocosus

Malay Name: Merbah Telinga Merah

Chinese Name: 红耳鹎

Range: Found from the Indian subcontinent to southern China and Southeast Asia. Widely introduced to many parts of the world including Singapore via the song bird trade.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: fuscicaudatus, abuensis, pyrrhotis, emeria, whistleri, monticola, jocosus, hainanensis, pattani.

Size: 18-20.5 cm

Identification: Adult has earthly brown upperparts contrasting with white underparts, tall erect black crest, prominent white cheek and throat with black moustachial stripe, small red ear patch and reddish vent. Juvenile resembles adult but duller overall, lacks the red face patch and has brownish crest.

Habitat: Open terrain, wooded area, gardens and parks.


Local Status: Common introduced resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2017)

Location: Lorong Halus, Jurong Lake Park, Kent Ridge Park, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Saddle Club, Tuas South, Punggol Barat and Pulau Ubin.


BirdLife International. (2017). Pycnonotus jocosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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