About Yellow-Eared Bulbul

The Yellow-Eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus) is a songbird that belongs to the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is an endemic resident breeder in Sri Lanka’s highlands. The Yellow-throated bulbul’s common name is also used as an alternate name.
The Yellow-Eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus penicillatus) is a songbird in the bulbul family. It is an endemic resident breeder in Sri Lanka’s highlands. The Yellow-Throated Bulbul’s common name is also used as an alternate name.

Where are They Live?

Yellow-Eared Bulbul - Endemic Birds

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Megalaimidae
Genus: Psilopogon
Species: P. Rubricapillus
Binomial Name: Psilopogon Rubricapillus

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Distribution and Babitat

The Yellow-eared-Bulbul is endemic to Sri Lanka and is the least common of the bulbul species found there. This is a jungle and wooded farmland bird. Despite its limited range, it can be found in Nuwara Eliya at places like Horton Plains, Piduruthalagala peak, Moonplains, and Victoria Park, and has been spotted frequently in rocky hills.


The yellow-eared bulbul has a long tail and measures about 20 cm (7.9 in) in length. Its upperparts are olive, and its underparts are yellowish. Grey on the crown of the head, with yellow ear tufts and a yellow patch below the eye. A white tuft appears in front of the eye, and the throat is also white.

The plumage of the sexes is similar, but young birds are duller than adults. The flight is bouncy and similar to that of a woodpecker.

Behaviour and Ecology

Yellow-eared bulbuls nest in bushes and lay two eggs in a typical clutch. They eat fruits and insects.

Cultural References

The yellow-eared bulbul can be seen on the 10-rupee Sri Lankan postage stamp as well as the new Sri Lankan LKR 5000 note.

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