Abbotts Babbler (Malacocincla abbotti)

Abbotts Babbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Pellorneidae | [latin] Malacocincla abbotti | [UK] Abbotts Babbler | [FR] Timalie d’Abbott | [DE] Rotschwanz-Maustimalie | [ES] Tordina de Abbott | [NL] Roodstaartmuistimalia


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Malacocincla abbotti OR widespread
Malacocincla abbotti abbotti
Malacocincla abbotti altera
Malacocincla abbotti baweana
Malacocincla abbotti concreta
Malacocincla abbotti krishnarajui
Malacocincla abbotti obscurior
Malacocincla abbotti olivacea
Malacocincla abbotti williamsoni

Physical charateristics

Abbott’s Babbler is socially monogamous with monotypic plumage. Males are larger than females. The adult Abbott’s Babbler is a nondescript brown, short-tailed babbler that moves about in the low vegetation often near streams and in the vicinity of tree ferns and tangled vegetation. The throat is greyish white while the center of the belly is white and the flanks are olive. The undertail coverts are rusty. The sexes are alike. It has a short tail and heavy bill; it is drab olive-brown with bright rusty lower flanks and vent, a greyish-white throat and breast and variable pale grey supercilium and lores. Juvenile birds have dark rufescent-brown crowns and upperparts.

Listen to the sound of Abbotts Babbler

[audio: Babbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 14 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 10 days fledging max.: 12 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Oriental Region : widespread. In South Asia, it is resident from Nepal to Arunachal Pradesh and the Assam Valley in India, south throughout the South Assam hills, including Meghalaya and south through the Lushai Hills. It is also resident in east and south Bangladesh, and the Eastern Ghats in North-east Andhra Pradesh and Orissa


It is fairly common in the understory of broad-leaved evergreen forest and secondary growth up to 915 m in elevation


They breed from April to July (summer monsoon), with the nest being a carefully placed but bulky cup low in palms or other undergrowth. A study in Thailand found that most nests are placed in spiny palms and rattans. The usual clutch is 3 to 5 eggs which are bright salmon with dark blotches and red lines. When disturbed at the nest, the bird slip over the edge and fly with laboured wing beats and then hop out of sight. More than one brood may be raised in a season. The incubation period was 14?15 days and nestlings fledged 10?12 days after hatching.

Feeding habits

Feeds on insects and small invertebrates. Usually seen singly or in pairs, near the ground. Forages with slow movements among leaf litter. Often quite tame.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence over 20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (over 10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Abbotts Babbler status Least Concern


Resident throughout range.

Distribution map

Abbotts Babbler distribution range map

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