White-spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthopygos


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 6,000-18,000 pairs, which equates to 12,000-36,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.10% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 120,000-360,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification
The population is estimated to be increasing following a long-term range expansion, facilitated by urban and agricultural development (del Hoyo et al. 2005). The European population trend is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015).


This species occupies a wide range of well-vegetated areas with low trees and bushes, in both natural vegetation and cultivation, including open pine (Pinus) woods, juniper (Juniperus) forest, Ceratonia scrub, thick bush in wadi beds, trees and bushes in open semi-desert, oases, orchards, groves, fields, gardens and villages. The species breeds from the end of March to August in Israel, from late April in Oman, from February in Saudi Arabia and from March in the Gulf states. It is monogamous. The nest is a cup or small basket of thin twigs, grass stems, moss and leaves with the base constructed of broad leaves (sometimes with newspaper, strips of plastic or cotton wool) and the structure is held together by cobwebs and cotton threads, lined after a fashion with hair, shredded bark and rootlets, apparently sometimes unlined. Clutches are two to four eggs. It feeds mostly on fruit, as well as seeds and invertebrates and less frequently, nectar, leaves and flowers. The species is mainly resident, although some local movements occur in search of fruit sources and altitudinal migration may occur in Turkey (Fishpool and Tobias 2005).


The species is considered an agricultural pest in some places; however this has not impacted population numbers (Fishpool and Tobias 2005).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within Europe.

Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species within Europe.


Text account compilers
Ashpole, J, Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Pycnonotus xanthopygos. Downloaded from on 04/03/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/03/2021.