Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Bare-cheeked Babbler (Turdoides gymnogenys)


French: Cratérope à joues nues German: Nacktwangen-Schwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide caricalvo

Crateropus gymnogenys


, 1865,

Province of Benguela, Angola


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. g. gymnogenys (Hartlaub, 1865) – SW Angola.
  • T. g. kaokensis (Roberts, 1937) – NW Namibia.
  • Descriptive notes

    24–25 cm; 65–91 g. Medium-sized Turdoides babbler, mid-brown above and white below, with pale greyish crown, black skin on face and buffy-rufous nape and... read more


    Chorus song a loud chattering “kerrrakerrra-kek-kek-kek”, very like that of T.... read more


    Undergrowth of dry broadleaf riverine woodland, woodland on open plains, thick thorny brush on bare... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects and their larvae, including beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars (mopane worms), termites (Isoptera) and mantids; also some... read more


    Mainly Nov–Jan (Jul–Jan, also Apr–May) in Namibia. Co-operative breeder; up to twelve birds attending one nest. Nest a... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon in Angola. Uncommon to locally common in Namibia, where range covers 85,000 km² and population estimated at 53,170–104,970 individuals... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Bare-cheeked Babbler (Turdoides gymnogenys). 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 February 2020).