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Black-fronted Bulbul - BirdForum Opus

Alternative Name: African Red-eyed Bulbul.

Photo by Max Holdt
Windhoek, Namibia, July 2005
Pycnonotus nigricans


Length 19-22 cm, mass 31 g
Dark, slightly crested head, black bill, prominent red eyering. Brown back and tail, yellow vent, light brown breast shading downwards to white belly.

Similar Species

Distinguished by the red eyering from the two other similar southern African bulbuls (Dark-capped and Cape).


The Black-fronted Bulbul favours drier areas, and is thus endemic to south-western Africa, including Namibia, Botswana, west and central South Africa, south-western Angola, western Zimbabwe and extreme southern Zambia.



Pycnonotus nigricans has two subspecies[1]:

  • P. n. nigricans is the western race (western South Africa, Namibia, most of Botswana, south-western Angola, western Zimbabwe and extreme southern Zambia); and
  • P. n. superior which is larger than the nominate race, is darker above and the dark brown of the throat extends further down the breast (central South Africa and south-eastern Botswana).


Dry savannah, riverine woodland, and gardens.


Noisy and lively like other bulbuls. Will join bird parties, very alert, and responds noisily to any perceived threat such as a mongoose or a snake.


Feeds on fruit, insects, pollen and nectar.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533

Recommended Citation

External Links

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