Family Babblers (Timaliidae)

Near Threatened

Chapin's Mountain Babbler (Kupeornis chapini)


French: Phyllanthe de Chapin German: Chapintimalie Spanish: Charlatán de Chapin
Other common names: Chapin’s Babbler

Kupeornis chapini


, 1949,

Mongbwalu, north-east DRCongo


Genus has been merged with Lioptilus, but perhaps closer to Phyllanthus; differs from latter in smaller and weaker bill with relatively broader base (less laterally compressed), more slit-like nostrils (as Turdoides), and more slender feet. Present species forms a superspecies with K. rufocinctus, and sometimes considered to be conspecific. Individuals of present species seen in mountains W of L Kivu not assigned to race, but possibly belong with nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • K. c. chapini Schouteden, 1949 – E DRCongo (from W of L Albert S to W of L Edward).
  • K. c. nyombensis (Prigogine, 1960) – Mt Nyombe region of E DRCongo.
  • K. c. kalindei (Prigogine, 1964) – W of N end of L Tanganyika (E DRCongo).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm. Broadly similar to K. rufocinctus, but with blackish-chestnut cap, paler rufous throat, pale chestnut wing flash. Nominate race has crown dark... read more


    Call harsh and chattering, often in chorus; similar to that of K. rufocinctus, but... read more


    Transitional broadleaf evergreen forest, at 1000–1650m.

    Food and feeding

    No information on diet. Found in flocks of up to ten individuals, foraging in middle and upper storeys of forest. Associates with other... read more


    May–Jun. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. ­Restricted-range species: present in Albertine Rift Mountains EBA. Evidently rather rare. Has a relatively... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2017). Chapin's Mountain Babbler (Kupeornis chapini). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 March 2017).