Cover photo: BirdPix 7898 – Gregg & Desire Darling
The Cape Bulbul is easily identified by its white eye-rings, black bill, and bright yellow feathers under its tail. Overall, its colouration is a dull blackish brown. It has a small crest on its head and black legs and feet. Males and females look alike.
It has a very cheerful sounding call of two or more varied notes which kind of sound like pit-peet-pitmajol, piet-piet-patata.
It occurs in coastal bush, open forest, fynbos and garden habitats. It generally prefers thickly vegetated fynbos, succulent Karoo, and gardens or parks with trees and bushes.
The Cape Bulbul is Endemic to South Africa. It is very common across much of the Western Cape, with its range extending along the coast to the Northern and Eastern Cape Provinces. The blue and green squares in the map below, which displays distribution data as captured by the second Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2), shows the core of the Cape Bulbul’s range. These are the squares where reporting rates for Cape Bulbul are highest.
It is a locally common and conspicuous bird. They tend to perch at the top of a bushes making themselves easy to spot. Cape Bulbuls are active and noisy, and usually seen in pairs or small groups while foraging for fruit, nectar, and insects.
During the breeding season (September to December) the female builds the nest which consists of a sturdy but messy cup of twigs, grass stems and rootlets. The nest is typically placed on a horizontal branch near the edge of a bush’s or tree’s foliage. Cape Bulbuls lay 2-5 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 11-13 days. Both parents feed the chicks, who remain dependent on their parents for food for a period of about 50 days from hatching.
Species Text from the first Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP1), 1997
Virtual Museum (BirdPix > Search VM > By Scientific or Common Name)
Other common names: Kaapse Tiptol (Afrikaans); Kapbülbül (German); Tuta do Cabo (Portuguese); Bulbul du Cap (French).
Recommended citation format: Loftie-Eaton M and Karis D 2022. Cape Bulbul Pycnonotus capensis. Bird Feeder Project. Biodiversity and Development Institute. Available Online at http://thebdi.org/2022/03/30/cape-bulbul-pycnonotus-capensis/