Straw-headed Bulbul

Straw_Headed_Bullbul (1)

Conservation status: ENDANGERED
Common name: Straw-headed Bulbul
Scientific name: Pycnonotus zeylanicus
Type: Bird
Diet: fruits and berries
Length: 28 – 29 cm (Adult)
Weight: 80 – 93 g (Adult)

The straw-headed bulbul is the largest bulbul that can be found in Singapore. It is most common in Pulau Ubin, but can also be seen in mainland Singapore. (They can also be found in Myanmar, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and West Java).

This bird gets its name from the golden-yellowish plumage on top of it, which contrasts with the black stripes that run from the nostrils back through its red eye. The forehead is covered by orange-brown feathers and can be raised to show excitement. The body is covered in brownish-grey plumage that turns olive-green towards the tail and whitish on the underparts.  Both sexes appear similar, while juveniles have a duller plumage.

Another defining characteristic of the straw-headed bulbul is its varied repertoire of rich songs, which is, unfortunately, a trait that threatens its survival in the wild. The straw-headed bulbuls are popular songbirds and are traded both domestically and internationally.

They are endangered throughout Southeast Asua, but it is still possible to listen to the beautiful notes that these birds produce in Pulau Ubin and other nature parks in Singapore.


  1. Wang, L. K. 2011. Bulbuls. Pp. 250, 254. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.
  2. Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179, Singapore.
  3. “Pycnonotus Zeylanicus”. Lkcnhm.Nus.Edu.Sg,
  4. “Straw-Headed Bulbul Videos, Photos And Facts – Pycnonotus Zeylanicus | Arkive”. Arkive,

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