Yellow-eared bulbul

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Yellow-eared bulbul
Yellow browed bulbul at Nuwara Eliya.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
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]

The yellow eared-bulbul is endemic to Sri Lanka and is the least common of the bulbuls found in Sri Lanka. This is a bird of jungle and wooded farmland. Despite its restricted range, it is quite readily found at sites such as Horton Plains, Piduruthalagala peak, Moonplains and Victoria Park in Nuwara Eliya and has been frequently sighted in rocky hills.

Pycnonotus penicillatus.jpg
Yellow-eared Bulbul Sri Lanka


A Yellow eared Bulbul in the town of Embilitiya, 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.

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Yellow-eared bulbuls build their nest in a bush with two eggs in a typical clutch. They feed on fruit and insects.Nests are open and cup-shaped.Material such as roots and lichen are used in building the nests.Breeding season usually occurs around February-may and again during august-october.

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.[3]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2021). "Pycnonotus penicillatus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2021: e.T22712722A185455076. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Birds on stamps: Sri Lanka".
  3. ^