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Brown-eared Bulbul - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Peter de Haas
Busan Korea, 23 April 2005
Hypsipetes amaurotis

Microscelis amaurotis
Ixos amaurotis


28cm (11 in)

  • Grey-brown back wings and tail
  • Richer brown underparts
  • Spotted grey breast
  • Streaked grey head, nape and throat
  • Chestnut ear patch
  • Black bill and feet

Sexes similar


Photo © by letsbefrank
Kishiwada, Japan, 21 January 2017

Asia: found in Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines.


Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Naha, Okinawa, Japan, 4 September 2019

Placed in the genus Microscelis by some authorities. Formerly placed in genus Ixos.


There are 14 subspecies[1]:

  • H. a. hensoni: Breeds south-western Hokkaido; winters to southern Korea, northern Japan and south-eastern China
  • H. a. matchiae: Southern Japan (Hachijo-jima, Tanegashima and Yakushima)
  • H. a. amaurotis: Central Japanese islands (Honshu to Kyushu); Cheju-Do Island (Korea)
  • H. a. squamiceps: Bonin Islands (Mukojima, Chichijima and Hahajima)
  • H. a. magnirostris: Volcano Islands (Japan)
  • H. a. borodinonis: Daito Islands (Japan)
  • H. a. ogawae: Northern Ryukyu Islands (Amami-O-Shima and Tokuno-Shima)
  • H. a. pryeri: Central Ryukyu Islands (Ihiya, Okinawa, Zamami and Kume)
  • H. a. insignis: Miyako-Jima (south Ryukyu Islands)
  • H. a. stejnegeri: Ryukyu Islands (Ishigaki, Iriomote and Yonaguni)
  • H. a. harterti: Southern Taiwan and Lan-yü Island
  • H. a. batanensis: Philippines (Babuyan Claro, Batan, Ivojos and Sabtang)
  • H. a. fugensis: Philippines (Calayan, Fuga and Dalupiri)
  • H. a. camiguinensis: Camiguin Norte (northern Philippines)

Subspecies H.a. hensoni and H.a. insignis are often considered invalid[1].


Lowland forests to 1600 m, parks and gardens partial to cherry trees.



The diet includes insects, seeds, blossom, fruit, berries, and leafy vegetables.


A cup shaped nest is placed in the lower branches of a tree. The clutch consists of 4 eggs.


Recording by pietrod
Mount Takao, Japan, August 2014


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Birding in Taiwan
  4. BirdForum Member observations
  5. Brazil, M.A. (1991) The Birds of Japan. Smithsonian Inst. Press.
  6. Brazil, M.A. (2009) Birds of East Asia. Princeton Univ. Press.
  7. Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2017). Brown-eared Bulbul (Hypsipetes amaurotis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/58035 on 21 June 2017).
  8. Oliveros, C.H. & Moyle, R.G. (2010) Origin and diversification of Philippine bulbuls. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 54(3): 822–832.
  9. Stejneger, Leonhard. 1892. Notes on a collection of birds made by Mr. Harry V, Henson in the Island of Yezo, Japan. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 15(904): 289-359, 1 pl..

Recommended Citation

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