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Orange-billed Babbler - BirdForum Opus

Photo by firecrest15
Sisiri's River Lodge, Kithulgala, Sri Lanka, March 2010

Alternative names: Ceylon Babbler; Ceylon Rufous Babbler

Argya rufescens

Turdoides rufescens


With 25 cm a medium-sized Turdoides-babbler:

  • Entirely rufous-chestnut
  • Bright orange bill and legs
  • Light grey wash on unstreaked crown and nape
  • Pale eye and lores

May be confused with sympatric Ashy-headed Laughingthrush, but note bill and leg colour.


Endemic to southwest Sri Lanka. Restricted-range species, common in suitable habitat. Resident.


This is a monotypic species.[1]
In the past, it was considered to be a race of Jungle Babbler and may form a superspecies with it.


Its habitat is rainforest and deep jungle. Usually found in primary forest, only occasionally in secondary forest. Recorded up to 2100m.


Its diet includes insects, but also jungle berries. Forages in lower storeys of trees and in canopy. Noisy and greagrious, usually in groups of 6 to 12 birds, sometimes much more. Also in mixed feeding flocks. Breeding season from March to May. It builds its nest in a tree, concealed in dense masses of foliage. 2-3 deep greenish blue eggs are laid.


  1. 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/
  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
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.