|Black-capped babbler, Pellorneum capistratum|
Vigors & Delacour, 1946
Dozens; see article text
The ground babblers are a family of mostly Old World passerine birds. They are rather diverse in size and coloration, but are characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The entire family was previously included in the Timaliidae.
They are small to medium sized birds. They have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial. They typically have generalised bills, similar to those of a thrush or warbler. Most have predominantly brown plumage, with minimal difference between the sexes, but many more brightly coloured species also exist.
This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings, and a weak flight. They live in lightly wooded or scrubland environments, ranging from swamp to near-desert. They are primarily insectivorous, although many will also take berries, and the larger species will even eat small lizards and other vertebrates.
List of Species
- Genus Alcippe (14 species)
- Genus Ptilocichla (3 species)
- Genus Napothera – atypical wren-babblers (paraphyletic). (9 species), sometimes split into several genera.
- Genus Gampsorhynchus (2 species)
- Genus Illadopsis (7 species)
- Genus Jabouilleia – atypical scimitar-babblers (2 species)
- Genus Rimator (3 species)
- Genus Malacocincla (5 extant species)
- Vanderbilt's babbler, Malacocincla sepiarium vanderbilti – extinct? (late 20th century?)
- Genus Malacopteron (6 species)
- Genus Trichastoma (3 species)
- Genus Pellorneum (7 species) - possibly polyphyletic (Jønsson & Fjeldså 2006)
- Cibois, A. 2003. Mitochondrial DNA phylogeny of babblers (Timaliidae). Auk 120: 35-54.
- Collar, N. J., and C. Robson. 2007. Family Timaliidae (babblers). Pages 70-291 in J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, and D.A. Christie (editors), Handbook of the birds of the world. Volume12. Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- Gelang, M., A. Cibois, E. Pasquet, U. Olsson, P. Alström and P.G.P. Ericson. 2009. Phylogeny of babblers (Aves, Passeriformes): major lineages, family limits and classification. Zoologica Scripta 38: 225-236.
- Pasquet, E., E. Bourdon, M. V. Kalyakin, and A. Cibois. 2006. The fulvettas (Alcippe, Timaliidae, Aves): a polyphyletic group. Zoologica Scripta 35: 559-566.