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Dark-capped Bulbul
(Pycnonotus tricolor)

Dark-capped Bulbul

General description

The Dark-capped Bulbul is mostly greyish brown above and whitish brown below, with a distinctive dark head and pointy crest on top of the head. The back of the head merges into the brown of the back, and the chin is also blackish.

The underparts are grey-brown apart from yellow around the vent.

The bill is fairly short and thin, with a slightly downcurving upper mandible.

The bill, legs, and feet are black and the eye is dark brown with a dark eye-ring, which is not readily visible.

Sexes are similar.

The call is a loud doctor-quick doctor-quick be-quick be-quick.

Name & classification

Scientific name:
Pycnonotus tricolor

Common names:
Dark-capped Bulbul (English)
Swartoogtiptol (Afrikaans)

Black-eyed Bulbul

Roberts VII english name:
Dark-capped Bulbul

Roberts VII scientific name:
Pycnonotus tricolor

Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Further information



Mainly fruit but also nectar, flower petals and insects.

The Black-eyed Bulbul is usually seen in pairs or small groups. It is a conspicuous bird, which tends to sit at the top of a bush.

As with other bulbuls they are active and noisy birds. The flight is bouncing and woodpecker-like.

The nest is fairly rigid, thick walled, and cup-shaped. It is situated inside the leafy foliage of a small tree or shrub.

Two or three eggs is a typical clutch.

Natural distribution:
It is a common resident breeder in much of Africa.

It is found in woodland, coastal bush, forest edges, riverine bush, montane scrub, and in mixed farming habitats. It is also found in exotic thickets, gardens and parks.

Like other bulbuls, it is parasitised by the Jacobin Cuckoo.

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