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Iraq Babbler

From Opus

Photo © by balticbird Southwest Iran, April 2004
Photo © by balticbird
Southwest Iran, April 2004
Argya altirostris

Turdoides altirostris


[edit] Identification

Newly fledgedPhoto © by balticbirdSW Iran, 20 April 2004
Newly fledged
Photo © by balticbird
SW Iran, 20 April 2004

With 20 - 24cm (7¾-9½ in) a small, but long-tailed Argya babbler:

  • Curved bill
  • Plain white and buff underparts
  • Softly streaked upperparts
  • No streaks on head

Sexes are similar.

[edit] Confusion species

The only other babbler within its range is the Afghan Babbler which is heavier streaked on the head, upperparts and on the breast. Mixed flocks may occur in Iran and Iraq.

[edit] Distribution

Found in the plains around the river Euphrates from SE Turkey (Birecik) through Syria to Iraq and adjacent SW Iran.
Resident species which has recently colonised Turkey and areas in Syria.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].
This species is sometimes placed in genus Turdoides.

[edit] Habitat

Reedbeds, palm groves, gardens. Never far from the river and waterways.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds mainly on insects and spiders, foraging in groups in trees or on the ground. Usually 5 - 7 birds are together, but bigger flocks are possible.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from March to July. Rears two or even three broods annually. The nest is an untidy cup made of stems and lined with grass, leaves, rootlets and feathers. It's placed sheltered in a tree fork or in reeds. 3 - 4 eggs are laid.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from
  2. 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

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