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Aves bird of the week - Cape Bulbul - Pycnonotus capensis

The Cape Bulbul - Pycnonotus capensis – is Endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa. It generally prefers fynbos, succulent karoo, and coastal scrub. It is common in suburban parks and gardens.


Male and female have similar plumage, mainly dull, blackish brown with a diagnostic white eye-ring, and yellow undertail coverts. It has a small crest, a short, straight black bill, the legs and feet are black. The iris is dark brown. They are much darker than the other South African bulbuls, and differs in the eye ring colour and brown lower belly.


The most typical call of this species is a liquid whistle of two or more varied notes pit-peet-pitmajol, piet-piet-patata. Most common call note “piet-my-jol.”  Contact calls sound-like “chirrup” or “key-link”; alarm call a low pitched “churr.”


Diet consists of fruit, nectar and insects.


The egg-laying season is from August-March and the nest is built solely by the female. She lays 2 to 5 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for between 11 to 14 days. Both parents feed the chicks, who leave the nest before they can fly, at between 10 to 13 days. They become fully independent at about 50 days old, at which point they start to sing and call.

Conservation Status – Least concern

This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion. It is very common in certain parts of its range.


Ask Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures to create a custom tour for you to see these birds or book on one of the following scheduled Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures: -

Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour/Safari/Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

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