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Red-whiskered Bulbul

Pycnonotus jocosus

Regulatory Status

The State of Florida lists the red-whiskered bulbul as a prohibited species, prohibiting personal possession and requiring a permit to possess or import this species by licensed dealers, public exhibitors, or researchers who meet certain criteria and biosecurity measures. Please follow this link for Nonnative Species Permit Applications and Information.


The red-whiskered bulbul is about 20 centimeters (7.9 in) in length. They have a brown upper-body and light white underparts with buff flanks and a dark spur running onto the breast at shoulder level. They have a tall pointed black crest, red face patch and thin black mustache like line. Their tail is long and brown with white terminal feather tips, but the vent area is red. Juvenile red- whiskered bulbuls tend to lack the red patch behind the eye and their vent area is rufous-orange.

They make a loud and evocative call, resembling a sharp kink-a-joo and are more often heard than seen. They will often perch conspicuously, especially in the mornings when they call from the tops of trees.


Red-whiskered bulbuls are known to feed on various insects, but primarily, drupes, berries, and small fruits of
exotic plants, such as the Brazilian pepper, various figs, and loquat.

Native Range

Red-whiskered bulbuls are native from India to southern China.

Florida Distribution

Red-whiskered bulbuls escaped in 1960 from a tourist attraction in the Kendall area of Dade County during Hurricane Donna and now there is an established population in Miami- Dade County. See where the species has been reported in Florida.

Potential Impacts

The effects of red-whiskered bulbuls in Florida is not well understood. This species may compete for resources with native wildlife or impact agriculture.