Sombre greenbul

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Sombre greenbul
Sombre greenbul, Andropadus importunus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Andropadus
Swainson, 1832
Species: A. importunus
Binomial name
Andropadus importunus
(Vieillot, 1818)
Andropadus importunus distribution map.png

The sombre greenbul (Andropadus importunus) is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is a resident breeder in coastal bush, evergreen forest and dry shrub land in eastern Africa from Ethiopia to the Cape in South Africa.


The sombre greenbul is 15–18 cm long, with mainly dull greyish olive-green plumage, paler on the underparts than above. It has a white iris. The sexes are similar in plumage, but juveniles are even duller than the adult and have dark eyes.

The subspecies A. i. hypoxanthus is much yellower below than the nominate subspecies.


The sombre greenbul is a common bird, which tends to stay hidden in foliage and is more often heard than seen. It is usually found in pairs or small groups foraging for insects, fruit and small snails.

The sombre greenbul is a vocal species, and the most typical call is a monotonous, ringing phrase starting with a penetrating single whistle weeeewee, followed by a jumbled chortle and ending off with a rather plaintive, drawn out whistle willy.


Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa, ISBN 1-86872-721-1

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