Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Light-vented bulbul

Pycnonotus sinensis

Johann Friedrich Gmelin, 1789

In Thai: นกปรอดจีน

The light-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis) is a species of bird in the bulbul family. It is found in central and southern China, northern Vietnam and Taiwan.

Taxonomy and systematics

The light-vented bulbul was originally described in the genus Muscicapa. Alternate names for the light-vented bulbul include the Chinese bulbul, Japanese bulbul and white-vented bulbul.


Four subspecies are recognized:

  • P. s. sinensis (Gmelin, 1789) – Found in central and eastern China.
  • P. s. hainanus (R. Swinhoe, 1870) – Originally described as a separate species in the genus Ixos. Found in south-eastern China and northern Vietnam.
  • P. s. formosae Hartert, 1910 – Taiwan white head bulbul, : meaning "white head bird") Formerly considered as a separate species. Name is not be confused with an alternate name for the Styan's bulbul. Found on Taiwan.
  • P. s. orii Kuroda, 1923 – Found on Yonaguni and Ishigaki Islands (southern Ryukyu Islands).


The particular characteristic is the large white patch covering the nape and the sides of its black head. It also sings very brightly and variably with a cha-ko-lee...cha-ko-lee... sound.

The light-vented bulbul have a white color from the back its eyes to the back of its head. The chicks of the light-vented bulbul is always singing, they can only hop on tree branches, and do not fear human.

Distribution and habitat

In Hong Kong, the light-vented bulbul is abundant in lightly wooded areas, cultivated land and shrubland, whereas the red-whiskered bulbul is the common bulbul of suburbs and urban parks.

In Taiwan, however, the light-vented bulbul dominates all of these habitats, though it is replaced along the east coast by Styan's bulbul. Chinese bulbuls are seen frequently in Shanghai, perhaps the 3rd most common bird after sparrows and morning doves. The light-vented bulbul is common in the area around China. Some of the light-vented bulbul also lived in cities, where they live on trees. Citizens can often see the light-vented bulbul flying pass their window.

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Category / Seasonal Status

BCST Category: Recorded in an apparently wild state within the last 50 years

BCST Seasonal status: vagrant (non-breeding visitor with three or fewer records)

Scientific classification

Pycnonotus sinensis

Common names

  • Thai: นกปรอดจีน

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Light-vented bulbul
Light-vented bulbul (pycnonotus sinensis)

Range Map