Red-vented Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer)

Importation into Hawaii is prohibited by Hawaii Administrative Rules. Considered a Hawaii State Injurious Species, it is prohibited to release Injurious Species into the wild; transport them to islands or locations within the State where they are not already established; or export outside the State.


  • Bird with a black body, head and eyes, lighter gray underside, with patch of bright red feathers under tail
  • About 20 cm (8.5 in) long
  • Male & females look similar
  • The only black bird in Hawaii with a crest on its head like a cardinal’s crest
  • Native to Asia, from Pakistan to China, introduced to Hawaii as pets and illegally released into the wild in the mid 1950’s on Oahu.


  • A major pest of agriculture and gardens. Feeds on fruits, vegetables, flower buds, and insects.
  • Cost $300,000 in damages to orchids per year on Oahu
  • Spreads the seeds of invasive plants, including miconia, ivy gourd and false kava.
  • Aggressively chases other birds and competes with them for food and space. There is concern that they may compete with native birds where they co-exist.

Where is it invading?

  • Kauai: Not known to be present. All sightings should be reported to KISC or HDOA.
  • Oahu: Present in large numbers island-wide. Residents and agencies should prevent transport to neighbor islands.
  • Maui: Not known to be present. All sightings should be reported to MISC or DOFAW.
  • Big Island: Several sightings around the Mauna Lani area on the Kona side, sighting near Hilo. All sightings should be reported to BIISC or HDOA.

For more information, see: