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Streaked Wren-Babbler

From Opus

Subspecies leucostictaPhoto © by Ken DoyFraser's Hill, Malaysia, March 2019
Subspecies leucosticta
Photo © by Ken Doy
Fraser's Hill, Malaysia, March 2019

Alternative names: Short-tailed Wren-Babbler; Streak-throated Wren-Babbler

Turdinus brevicaudatus

Napothera brevicaudata


[edit] Identification

Photo © by the late  Laurence Poh Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia
Photo © by the late Laurence Poh
Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia

12 - 17cm (4¾-6¾ in). A smallish, short-tailed babbler:

  • Grey-brown above with coarse blackish scales
  • Whitish shaft-streaks on crown
  • Pale grey face (no supercilium)
  • Broad grey-brown streaks on white throat and upper breast
  • Unmarked rusty-tinged lower underparts

Females are more rufous, juveniles are uniform dark brown

[edit] Variations

The different subspecies differ in colour tones, the nominate having rufous underparts, others like stevensi or leucosticta more greyish-brown (see taxonomy).

[edit] Distribution

Found from northeast India to Burma, south China (Yunnan to Guangxi), Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and peninsular Malaysia.
Locally fairly common.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Seven subspecies which fall into two groups:

  • With dull rufous underparts:
    • T. b. striatus in northeast India and northwest Burma
    • T. b. venningi in South China (western Yunnan) to north-eastern Myanmar
    • T. b. brevicaudatus in south China (Yunnan), parts of Burma, Thailand and northwest Laos
    • T. b. rufivventer in southern Annam (northern Vietnam)
  • With browner underparts and less contrasting streaks:

Subspecies venningi is not recognised by all authorities[2]

Has been thought to be conspecific with Mountain Wren-Babbler or to form a superspecies with it.
Sometimes placed in genus Napothera.

[edit] Habitat

Broadleaf evergreen forest. Often seen near rocky outcrops. Found at 300 - 2100m in India, above 610m in Malaysia and up to 1830m in rest of range.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on insects, grubs and small molluscs.
Usually seen in pairs or small groups. Difficult to see as it forages near the ground in dense vegetation or around rocks and boulders.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding season from January to July. The nest may be a cup (see picture), a semi-dome or a dome made of dead leaves, dead brackesn, grasses, rootlets and other material. It's placed on the ground, between boulders or in a hollow pile of boulders or in a mossy bank. Lays 2 - 4 eggs.

[edit] Movements

Resident species.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. 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
  4. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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