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Moustached Babbler - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Moustached Tree Babbler)
Photo by Dave B
Logging station between Baling and Grik, Perak, Malaysia, August 2006

Alternative names: Brown-headed Babbler: Brown-headed Tree-Babbler

Malacopteron magnirostre


18cm. A plain, hook-billed Babbler:

  • Dull brown above, whitish below, cinereocapilla with dark crown
  • Dark submoustachial area
  • Dull chestnut tail
  • Grey hooked bill

Similar species

Sooty-capped Babbler has a much darker crown and lacks submoustachial dark stripe.


Found from extreme south Burma and south Thailand south to peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra and Borneo.
Rare in Singapore, common in most of its range.


Two subspecies recognized:

  • M. m. magnirostre on mainland southeast Asia and Sumatra
  • M. m. cinereocapilla on Borneo

A third proposed race from Anambas Island, flavum, is usually merged with the nominate.


Primary broadleaf evergreen forest, also regenerating forest and heavily or selectively logged forest. Found up to 900m in Thailand and Malaysia, 800m in Sumatra and sometimes 1220m in Borneo.


Feeds on insects.
Usually seen in small groups, sometimes together with other species. Forages in middle storey, gleaning foliage.
Breeding season from October to January (maybe longer) in Borneo, February to August on mainland Asia and Sumatra. The nest is an open cup, placed around 1m above the ground in a sapling. Lays 2 eggs.
Resident species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  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

Recommended Citation

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