Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Beautiful Sibia (Heterophasia pulchella)


French: Garrulaxe superbe German: Prachtsibia Spanish: Sibia bonita

Sibia pulchella


, 1874,

Barail Range, Assam, India


Has been separated in genus Malacias. Recently treated as monotypic, but races appear quite distinct. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. p. nigroaurita (Kinnear, 1944) – NE India (W & C Arunachal Pradesh) and adjacent S China (SE Xizang).
  • H. p. pulchella (Godwin-Austen, 1874) – NE India (E Arunachal Pradesh S to Nagaland), N Myanmar and S China (W & NW Yunnan).
  • Descriptive notes

    23 cm; 35–50 g. Blue-grey babbler with black face and wing-coverts, dull brown tertials, broad black subterminal tailband. Nominate race has lores, forehead, area... read more


    Song a repeated loud strident “ti-ti-titi-tu-ti” (descending slightly towards end),... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest at 1650–3000 m, occasionally to 3200 m; locally down to 300 m in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and their larvae, including beetles (Coleoptera); seeds, including those of viburnums (Viburnum) and evergreen magnolias... read more


    Apr–Jul. Nest a cup made of moss, lined with rootlets, placed near end of horizontal branch of small tree. Eggs pale blue. No other... read more


    Resident; minor altitudinal movements in winter.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Eastern Himalayas EBA. Locally common in NE India, where present in Mouling National Park, common in Namdapha... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Beautiful Sibia (Heterophasia pulchella). 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).