Cape Bulbul

Pycnonotus capensis

The Cape Bulbul is endemic to South Africa, and specifically the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape Provinces. The IUCN lists the Cape Bulbul as being of least concern, and describes it as common to abundant. They inhabit thorny thickets in the semi-arid Karoo, fynbos, coastal scrub and dune forest, have adapted extremely well to suburban parks and gardens, and feeds mainly on fruit, supplemented with nectar, seeds and invertebrates. Adults are about 20cm long and weigh around 40g.

Cape Bulbuls are active and noisy birds, generally seen in pairs or small groups, and breed throughout the spring and summer months. The female is solely responsible for the building of the nest (a sturdy cup of plant material placed on the outer branches of a tree or shrub) and incubating the clutch of 2-5 eggs for a period of two weeks. Both parents provide food to the chicks, which leave the nest at about two weeks old, without yet being able to fly. The chicks fledge a few days later, and then become fully independent at about 7 weeks old.

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12 thoughts on “Cape Bulbul

  1. John

    Very beautiful bird, and nice pictures..😊 It look little restless or nervous, but appears at the same time it wants to show off. The picture where it seems to be scared and starting too fly away is so good! Love that picture.😁 Picture of the year already? Was it scared when he saw you?πŸ˜‚

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  2. kim blades, writer

    I love their painted eyes. There are a few pairs of Black Eyed Bulbuls living in my garden. I spend very enjoyable moments early in the morning, watching them out of my bedroom window, alternately eating the ripe red chillies growing on the chilli bush close the window and then rushing over to the bird bath to have a drink! I wonder if they feed their chicks regurgitated chillies?

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Depending on how big the chicks are they may well be feeding them some of those chillies, Kim. I think like most birds they probably feed the hatchlings on insects and worms, introducing other kinds of food as they grow.

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