Red-whiskered Bulbul

Red-whiskered Bulbul perched sideways on a thin vertical branch

What does it look like? It 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 name is situated below the eye, but is often difficult to see.

Where does it live? 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 and 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.

Scientific name: Pycononotus jocosus

Size: 20 to 22 cm

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store