The Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus), also known as the Himalayan Black Bulbul, is a member of the bulbul family of passerine birds. It is found in southern Asia from India east to southern China.
There are a number of subspecies across this large range, mostly varying in the shade of the body plumage (ranging from grey to black), and some also occur in white-headed morphs (as also suggested by its specific name leucocephalus, literally "white head"). The legs and bill are always rich orange-red. The taxonomy is complex and it was formerly considered a subspecies of a widespread Hypsipetes madagascariensis. Within Asia, H. ganeesa has often been listed as a subspecies of H. leucocephalus, but is increasingly treated as a separate species restricted to the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, the Square-tailed Black Bulbul.
This bird is found in broad-leaved forests and cultivation. It builds its nest in a tree or bush; two to four eggs is a typical clutch.
The Black Bulbul is 24-25cm in length, with a long tail. The body plumage ranges from slate grey to shimmering black, depending on the race. The beak, legs, and feet are all red and the head has a black fluffy crest.
Sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds lack the crest, have whitish underparts with a grey breast band, and have a brown tint to the upperparts.
Black Bulbuls feed mainly on seeds and insects, and they are often seen in small groups, either roosting or flying about in search of food. They are particularly fond of berries. They can be quite noisy, making various loud miao calls.