AppearanceThe dark-capped bulbul is mostly greyish brown above and whitish brown below, with a distinctive dark head and pointy crest on top of the head. The back of the head merges into the brown of the back, and the chin is also blackish. The underparts are grey-brown apart from white around the vent . It is about 18 cm in length, with a long tail. It has a dark brown head and upperparts. Sexes are similar in plumage.
NamingThree subspecies are recognized:
⤷ ''P. t. spurius'' - Reichenow, 1905: Originally described as a separate species. Found in southern Ethiopia
⤷ East Coast black-capped bulbul - Gurney, 1879: Originally described as a separate species. Found from south-eastern Kenya to eastern and southern Zambia, north-eastern Botswana and South Africa
⤷ ''P. t. tricolor'' - : Found from eastern Cameroon to Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan, western and central Kenya, Angola, north-western Botswana, and northern and western Zambia
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