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Rufous-fronted Babbler - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Jason Tan
Terengganu, Malaysia, October 2007

Alternative name: Red-fronted Babbler

Cyanoderma rufifrons

Stachyris rufifrons; Stachyridopsis rufifrons


12 cm. Very similar to Rufous-capped Babbler (no range overlap) and Buff-chested Babbler (only little range overlap):

Sexes similar. Juveniles with paler crown and very much like juveniles of Rufous-capped Babbler.


Found in west and southeast Burma, most of Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and Borneo and Sumatra (Indonesia).


Five subspecies recognized:

Buff-chested Babbler and Deignan's Babbler are often considered conspecific with this species.
Formerly placed in the genus Stachyris or in genus Stachyridopsis.
Deignan's Babbler is usually recognized as aberrant form of the nominate subspecies of this species.


Dense undergrowth and bamboo thickets in open forest and forest clearings. Also jungle with grass in open forest, secondary growth and scrub in abandoned clearings. Found up to 1065m in peninsular Malaysia, up to 915m in Sumatra and sometimes up to 1500m in Borneo.


Feeds on insects, may sometimes take also berries.
During breeding season in pairs, outside in small groups of up to six birds, often with other species. Forages in low undergrowth, close to the ground.
Breeding season from February to August. The nest is a dome, sometimes a semi-dome or a deep cup made of bamboo and grasses. It's placed within 1 m from the ground in bambo clump or among stems of palms. Lays 3 - 5 eggs. Brood parasitism by Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo reported.
Resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://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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