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Alternative names: Grey-crowned Chatterer; Red-breasted Babbler; Rufous-breasted Babbler (rubeculus)
23 - 27cm (9-10Â¾ in). The largest Australasian Babbler:
Three subspecies accepted:
They are sometimes split into two species. Furthermore due to the clinal variation much more subspecies are described but usually not accepted.
Dry open forest, scrubby woodlands, farmland with isolated trees and trees bordering roads.
They go around in family groups seeking out bugs to feed on, all the while making many curious calls, some that sound like kittens mewing or squeaky toys. Their method of locomotion is a comical bounce. At night they roost in communal nests but if some family members don't fit in the main nest they are turfed out and must use a nearby "guest" nest.
Feeds mainly on insects but takes also seeds, spiders, scorpions or small reptiles.
Breeding season mainly July to February but recorded in all months. Co-operative breeder. Lays 2 - 6 eggs.
Mainly resident but some evidence for nomadism.
Call: a ruff-ruff call, rather like a puppy.
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