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White-hooded Babbler - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: White-headed Babbler; White-headed Shrike-Babbler; Indian White-hooded Babbler

Photo by firozhussain
Digboi, Assam, India, January 2017
Gampsorhynchus rufulus


23 - 24cm (9-9½ in). A longish-tailed buff-brown babbler:

  • White head and breast in nominate subspecies.
  • Sandy brown upperparts, upperwing slightly darker
  • Buff flanks and belly

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a rufous head.


Found from southeast Nepal east over Bhutan to northeast India, southeast Bangladesh, Burma and adjacent south China (Yunnan).
Fairly common in parts of its range. Only two records from Nepal.


This is a monotypic species.
It has been considered conspecific with Collared Babbler in the past.


Broadleaf evergreen and secondary forest. Also scrub, bushes and long grass at forest edge. Prefers bamboo.
Up to 1200m in India.



Feeds on invertebrates.
Usually seen in noisy groups of up to 20 birds. Often together with other species in mixed flocks, particulary with Red-billed Scimitar-Babbler and Rufous-headed Parrotbill. Not shy.


Breeding season from April to August (nominate race). The nest is a filmsy saucer made of dead leaves, small twigs, roots, lichen and moss. It's placed around 2m above the ground in a bush. Lays 3 - 4 eggs.


Resident species.


Click on photo for larger image


  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. 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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