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Abyssinian Catbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Trevor Hardaker
Ankober, Ethiopia, April 2009

Alternative names: Abyssinian Babbler; Juniper Babbler

Parophasma galinieri


A dull grey babbler-like passerine (17-19 cm):

  • Dirty grey plumage
  • White forehead
  • Black lores
  • Rufous-chestnut vent

Sexes similar, juveniles are generally paler.


Endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia.
Fairly common in parts of its range.1


Monotypic.1, 2

Uncertain affinities. May be close to Bush Blackcap or the Mountain-Babblers. Now thought to belong to the Old World Warblers, not the Babblers.


Dense thickets, giant heather, juniper woodland, highland bamboo, olive trees, well-wooded gardens. Often in steep-sided valleys or ravines. Found between 2440m and 3655m.1


Feeds on juniper berries and other fruit.

Usually seen in pairs or small groups of up to 8 birds. Keeps in vegetation. Fine singer.

Breeding season from January to July. The nest is a thin cup made of fine plant stems and placed on top of some small branches, about 5m above the ground. Lays 2 eggs.

Resident species.1


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  2. Clements, JF. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2007. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019

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