Sikkim wedge-billed babbler

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Sikkim wedge-billed babbler
Sphenocichla humei.JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Timaliidae
Genus: Sphenocichla
S. humei
Binomial name
Sphenocichla humei
(Mandelli, 1873)

Heterorhynchus humei protonym

The Sikkim wedge-billed babbler or blackish-breasted babbler (Sphenocichla humei) is a species of bird in the Old World babbler family (Timaliidae). It is named for the Indian state of Sikkim.

It is found in the Indian subcontinent and nearby parts of Southeast Asia. Its range includes Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and Nepal. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is becoming rare due to habitat loss.[citation needed]


This species described by Louis Mandelli based on specimens from Sikkim and placed in the genus Heterorhynchus[2] which was however preoccupied leading to it briefly being placed in the genus Stachyrirhynchus by Hume. However the genus Sphenocichla was erected before this by Godwin-Austen and Lord Tweeddale for the Manipur or Cachar wedge-billed babbler and this species was moved to the genus Sphenocichla.[3][4]

The species was previously known as the wedge-billed babbler and included Sphenocichla humei and the now separated Sphenocichla roberti which was earlier treated as a subspecies.[5]


It inhabits the understorey of broadleaf evergreen forest and bamboo at 900-1,950 m, favouring westward facing slopes in Bhutan. It occupies lower elevations only during the winter. It occurs in small parties and feeds on insects, particularly woodlice and boring beetles.[6]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Sphenocichla humei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  2. ^ Mandelli, L. (1873). "New birds from Sikhim". Stray Feathers. 1: 415–416.
  3. ^ Gould, John (1883). The birds of Asia. Volume IV. p. plate 55.
  4. ^ Austen, Godwin; Walden, Arthur Viscount (2008). "Descriptions of some supposed new Species of Birds". Ibis. 17 (2): 250. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1875.tb06156.x.
  5. ^ Rasmussen, P.C. (2005). "Biogeographic and conservation implications of revised species limits and distributions of South Asian birds". Zool. Med. Leiden. 79–3 (13): 137–146.
  6. ^ "Bird Life International".
  • Collar, N. J. & Robson, C. 2007. Family Timaliidae (Babblers) pp. 70–291 in; del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D.A. eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 12. Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.