bird picture.

Red whiskered bulbul

The red whiskered bulbul, “HK star”


Size: 20-22 cm Weight: 23-42 grams Longevity: Up to 11 years

The red whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) is a passerine bird from the bulbul family widespread in Asia and especially in Hong Kong. With its red cheeks and vent, this beautiful bird looks like no other species. Some say it looks like an “unicorn” or a “movie star”. Male and female red whiskered bulbuls are similar in plumage, while juveniles are duller than adults.

The red whiskered bulbul is an abundant resident of Hong Kong. It’s the most common and widespread bird there.

red whiskered bulbul


Red whiskered bulbuls are very talkative birds. It was a loud and evocative call that sounds like a sharp kink-a-joo while it’s song is a scolding chatter. You can more often see the red-whiskered bulbul than you can hear it.


Red whiskered Bulbuls feed on insects, berries, seeds, flower parts and nectar.


Red whiskered bulbuls build open cup nests, most of the time placed in a low tree fork. Their eggs are pinkish, spotted with shades of red. Both male and female incubate the eggs and nurse the young birds. Red whiskered bulbuls have been reported to breed between April to May.

red whiskered bulbul in hong kongbirding in hong kong, red whiskered bulbul


The Red whiskered Bulbul is a common near human habitations and in large cities. He is widespread in its range.

French: Bulbul Orphée
German : Rotohrbülbül
Spanish : Bulbul de Bigotes Rojos
Italian :  Bulbul dai mustacchi rossi
Russian : Краснощёкий бульбуль

birding in hong kong, the red whiskered bulbul

Fun fact about the red whiskered bulbul 

Did you know that the red whiskered bulbul was featured on Singapore $5 notes as well as $0.10 stamp ? The Bird Series currency notes ans stamps were released between 1976 and 1984 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.


bank note with red-whiskered bulbul

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