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Tarim Babbler - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Askar Isabekov
Tikanlik, Xinjiang, China, August 2016
Rhopophilus albosuperciliaris


15 - 17cm. A small passerine:

  • Very long, graduated tail
  • Pale grey and sandy plumage
  • Heavy dark streaks above
  • Pale rufous streaking below
  • Much paler than Beijing Babbler

The female is similar but has a shorter tail and is less streaked on belly.


North-western China from Tarim Basin to Lop Nor.
Uncommon in its range.


This is a monotypic species.
Formerly considered conspecific with Beijing Babbler.


Found in dry stone montane scrub, tamarisks, long grass, bush-covered hill slopes and in reed clumps.


No information on diet. Feeds probably on invertebrates.
Forages in vegetation but also often seen running on the ground.
Outside breeding season in flocks, sometimes together with babblers.
Breeding season in May. The nest is a deep cup made of soft grasses and placed low in a bush. Lays 4 - 6 eggs.
Resident species with some displacement in winter.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  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

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