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Large Scimitar Babbler - BirdForum Opus

Photo by viator
Kaeng Krachan, Thailand, February 2013

Alternative names: Greater Scimitar-babbler; Long-billed Scimitar-babbler

Erythrogenys hypoleucos

Pomatorhinus hypoleucos


26 - 28cm. A large Scimitar-babbler:

  • Heavy, rather pale bill
  • White throat and breast with dark grey flanks
  • Darke grey face with chestnut or whitish postocular line
  • Dark brown above

Sexes similar. Juveniles with shorter bill.

Similar species

The dark eye and the grey flanks distinguish this species from the similar Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler and Spot-breasted Scimitar-Babbler.


Found from northeast India and eastern Bangladesh southeast to Burma, south China, Thailand, Indochina (Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia) and to peninsular Malaysia.
Common in some places in Indochina, rare and uncommon in the west of its range.


This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 5 subspecies.


  • E. h. hypleucos:
  • E. h. tickelli:
  • E. h. brevirostris:
  • E. h. wrayi
  • E. h. hainana


Broadleaf evergreen forest and mixed deciduous forest. Also bamboo, scrub-jungle or cane-jungle, reeds and elephant grass. Mostly below 1200m (up to 1550m), but in south Thailand and peninsular Malaysia occuring at 915m to 2135m.


Feeds on insects, larvae, small molluscs and small snails.
Usually seen in pairs, sometimes in small groups of 5 to 6 birds. Forages close to the ground in understorey and lower.
Breeding season from November to May. The nest is a large, semi-domed oval with a flimsy roof. It's made of bamboo or other leaves and placed on ground in tangles of cane, bamboo or scrub or tangle of vines, up to 3m above the ground. Lays 2 -5 eggs.
Resident species.


  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. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
  3. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.