Yellow-eared bulbul

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Yellow-eared bulbul
Yellow browed bulbul at Nuwara Eliya.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
Species: P. penicillatus
Binomial name
Pycnonotus penicillatus
Blyth, 1851
Pycnonotus penicillatus distribution map.png
  • Kelaartia penicillata
  • Pycnonotus penicillata

The yellow-eared bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus) is a species of songbird in the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is an endemic resident breeder in the highlands of Sri Lanka. The common name is also used as an alternate name for the yellow-throated bulbul.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The yellow-eared bulbul was formerly classified in the monotypic genus Kelaartia, named after Dr. E.F. Kelaart. Alternate names for the yellow-eared bulbul include the Ceylon bulbul, Sri Lanka bulbul and yellow-tufted bulbul.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This is a bird of jungle and wooded farmland. Despite its restricted range, it is quite readily found at sites such as Horton Plains and Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya. It builds its nest in a bush; two eggs is a typical clutch.

Pycnonotus penicillatus.jpg
Yellow-eared Bulbul Sri Lanka


The yellow-eared bulbul is about 20 cm (7.9 in) in length, with a long tail. It has olive upperparts and yellowish underparts. The crown of the head is grey, and there are yellow ear tufts and a yellow patch below the eye. There is a white tuft in front of the eye and the throat is also white.

Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller than adults. The flight is bouncing and woodpecker-like. Yellow-eared bulbuls feed on fruit and insects.

Cultural references[edit]

The yellow-eared bulbul appears on the 10-rupee Sri Lankan postage stamp[2] and can also be seen on the new LKR රු5000 note of Sri Lanka.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Pycnonotus penicillatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  2. ^