Vaalnest reviews the Bulbul, African Red-eyed bird

Posted by Collen on Tue October 20, 2015 in Birding in Vaal Marina.

The African red-eyed bulbul or black-fronted bulbul (Pycnonotus nigricans) is a species of songbird in the Pycnonotidae family. Here’s some more interesting facts about this beautiful bird.

It is found in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. Its diet mainly consists of fruit that’s supplemented with nectar, flowers and arthropods are also part of the diet depending on the location. It typically forages in pairs or large groups, who eat fruit and hawk insects. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Fruit (such as Pheonx reclinata (Wild Date Palm)
  • Flower petals (such as Homeria pallida (Transvaal Yellow Tulp)
  • Nectar of Aloe
  • Arthropods


Monogamous and highly territorial, with males aggressively defending their territory against other males. If threatened it lowers its head and crest, while slightly raising its wings. If the standoff escalates it will attack the other male, viciously pecking, beating and scratching, occasionally interlocking feet and falling to the ground.

  • The nest is typically built by the female, and is a untidy cup of fine twigs, dry grass and other small plant fibres, reinforced with spider web. It is usually concealed in the fork of a bush or tree branch, occasionally on a grape vine support frame.
  • Egg-laying season is from September-April, peaking around October-December.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated solely by the female for about 11-13 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 12 days (recorded in captivity), and can fly competently roughly a week later.





BirdLife International (2012). "Pycnonotus nigricans". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.



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