Rufous babbler

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Rufous babbler
Rufous Babbler by N. A. Naseer.jpg
Calls near roost site (Coorg, India)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Leiothrichidae
Genus: Turdoides
Species: T. subrufa
Binomial name
Turdoides subrufa
(Jerdon, 1839)

Turdoides subrufus
Layardia subrufa
Timalia subrufa
Argya subrufa
Timalia poecilorhyncha

The rufous babbler (Turdoides subrufa) is an endemic species of bird found in the Western Ghats of southern India belonging to the Leiothrichidae family It is dark brown and long tailed, and is usually seen foraging in noisy groups along open hillsides with a mixture of grass, bracken and forest.


Rufous babbler.jpg

This babbler is large and dark olive brown above with a grey forehead. The wing feathers have a rufous tinge. The feathers of the forehead have black shafts. The iris is pale white to yellow and the lores are dark. The underside is bright rufous, paler on the center of the throat and belly. The nominate form (type location: Mananthawadi) is found in the Western Ghats north of the Palghat Gap while hyperythra found to the south is said to be more richly coloured.[2] They are 25–26 cm long with a wing of 8.7-9.0 cm. The tail is about 11-11.5 cm long.[3][4][5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is found in the Western Ghats south of Mahabaleshwar south to the Palni hills and east into the Shevaroy hills. They are found mainly close to the ground where they feed on insects and berries but will also make use of trees. The usual habitat is open forest, scrub or grassy hillsides.[2]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

The breeding season is mainly from February to November and the nest is a small cup in the fork of a tree. The eggs, ranging from two to four but usually three are dark glossy blue.[3]

They have a loud ringing Treenh-treenh call.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Turdoides subrufa". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Rasmussen PC & JC Anderton (2005). Birds of South of Asia: The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions. pp. 444–445.
  3. ^ a b Baker, EC Stuart (1922). Fauna of British India. Birds. Volume 1. Taylor and Francis, London. pp. 201–202.
  4. ^ Ripley,SD (1953). "Notes on Indian birds. V." Postilla. 17: 1–4.
  5. ^ Ali S & SD Ripley (1996). Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Volume 6 (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 222–224.