Straw-headed Bulbul

Scientific Name: Pycnonotus zeylanicus

Malay Name: Barau-barau Raya

Chinese Name: 黄冠鹎

Range: Found from the Thai-Malay Peninsula to Sumatra, Java and Borneo.

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 29 cm

Identification: Largest bulbul species in Singapore with strong bill, yellowish-orange crown and ear coverts, blackish eye and submoustachial stripes, whitish throat, bold whitish streaks on brownish breast and olive-green wings and uppertail coverts. Juvenile has duller and browner head.

Habitat: Forest, forest edge and secondary growth.

Behaviour/Ecology: Very vocal especially at dawn and before dusk. Gregarious and often perches on low branches overlooking water.

Local Status: Common resident and common introduced resident

Conservation Status: Critically Endangered (BirdLife International 2021)

Location: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Dairy Farm Nature Park, Bukit Batok Nature Park, Bukit Gombak, Central Catchment Forest, Bukit Brown and Pulau Ubin.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2021). Pycnonotus zeylanicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. 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.