Sombre (Bulbul) Greenbul | Andropadus importunus

Robert's Birding Information: Sombre Bulbul (Greenbul)

The Sombre Greenbul is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Pycnonotidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bulbuls, Nicators.

The description for the Sombre Greenbul (Latin name Andropadus importunus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Andropadus importunus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 572 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 770. You will find a picture of the Sombre Greenbul on page 817.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Sombre Bulbul in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Sombre Greenbul between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Sombre Greenbul is known in Afrikaans as Gewone Willie.

The Sombre Greenbul has a height of 23 cms and weighs around 34 gms. The head is coloured green while the bill is coloured black. The Andropadus importunus has a grey coloured throat, brown legs and a olive, green coloured back. The eyes are white, yellow.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is green.

Eyes are white, yellow.

Bill is black.

Legs are brown.

Throat is grey.

Back is olive, green.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Sombre Greenbul (Bulbul) Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Sombre Greenbul is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Andropadus importunus forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Sombre Greenbul (Bulbul) Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Sombre Greenbul is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Sombre Greenbul is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the African bushveld.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Sombre Greenbul is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.