Bird GuideBulbulsRed-whiskered Bulbul

At a Glance

When a few Red-whiskered Bulbuls escaped from an aviary in the Miami area in 1960, they found an environment perfectly suited to their needs. The climate was not too different from that of eastern India, where they had originated; and the suburb of Kendall, Florida, was heavily planted with exotic trees and shrubs, providing the bulbuls with abundant berries throughout the year. The birds quickly became established, but they have not spread much beyond Kendall. Another introduced population is common around Honolulu, Hawaii.
Bulbuls, Perching Birds
Low Concern
Urban and Suburban Habitats

Range & Identification

Migration & Range Maps

Apparently permanent resident throughout its native range, and introduced populations seem to do very little wandering.


8" (20 cm). Unlike any native bird, with black crest, white and red "whisker," red undertail coverts.
About the size of a Sparrow, About the size of a Robin
Black, Brown, Gray, Red, White
Wing Shape
Broad, Rounded
Tail Shape
Notched, Rounded, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

Various chattering notes; a whistled queekey!
Call Pattern
Falling, Rising, Undulating
Call Type
Chirp/Chip, Whistle


Suburbs with plantings of exotic fruiting trees. Introduced in North America, found only in residential areas with wide variety of exotic trees and shrubs that provide berries and small fruits at all times of year. In native range in southern Asia, found in forest edges, semi-open areas, towns.



Usually 3. Pinkish, profusely mottled with purple or reddish spots. Incubation is by both parents, 12-14 days.


Both parents feed nestlings. Age of young at first flight not well known.

Feeding Behavior

Except when nesting, travels in flocks to feed at fruiting plants. Takes insects by flying out to capture them in mid-air, hovering to pick them from bark, or searching among foliage.


Berries, small fruits, insects. With its small bill, usually does not feed on large fruits until they are overripe or punctured by other birds. Important items in Florida include berries and fruits of Brazilian pepper, figs, lantana, jasmine, and others. Takes nectar, eats pieces of flowers and green shoots of vegetation. Also eats many insects.


In Florida, breeding season is mainly February to June. Florida birds seem not to defend territories strongly, often tolerating other bulbuls near the nest. In courtship display, one bird may approach the other, fluttering its wings and bowing; both birds raise and lower crests repeatedly. Nest site is usually fairly low in shrub, vine, or small tree, typically about 2-8' above the ground, often well concealed. Nest, placed in fork of branch, is a cup made of grass, weeds, rootlets, and casuarina needles. Outside of nest usually decorated with pieces of paper or plastic, large flakes of bark, or other debris.

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Does not seem to compete seriously with native birds in Florida.