Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Black-lored Babbler (Turdoides sharpei)


French: Cratérope de Sharpe German: Schwarzzügel-Schwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide de Sharpe

Crateropus sharpei


, 1891,

Kakoma, south-west Tanzania


Often treated as conspecific with T. melanops. Race vepres moderately distinctive, with its darker overall plumage and usually whiter (sometimes pure white) throat and belly, but these latter characters highly variable. Proposed race clamosus (Rift Valley in Kenya) merged with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. s. sharpei (Reichenow, 1891) – Sharpe's Babbler – extreme E DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda (except N), SW Kenya and NW & W Tanzania.
  • T. s. vepres R. Meinertzhagen, 1937 – Nanyuki Babbler – Nanyuki area, on slopes of Mt Kenya (C Kenya).
  • Descriptive notes

    24–26 cm; 66–91 g. Resembles T. melanops, but bill shorter, body more streaked, tail not so dark, and underparts with no buff tones; wary. Nominate race... read more


    Chorus song a babbling “chookááh-chookááh-chookááh…”, having slightly insane and hilarious laughing... read more


    Forest-edge thickets and scrub, wooded plains and acacia savanna, dense bushland, riverine woodland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly invertebrates, also small reptiles and small fruits. Forages in trees (higher up than T. plebejus), tall grass and... read more


    Apr–Sept (peak Apr–May) in Uganda, Mar–Dec in Kenya and Mar–Jun in Tanzania. Co-operative breeder. Nest a rather... read more


    Resident. Recorded in all months in Kampala region of Uganda, but sometimes unaccountably absent... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in DRCongo; widespread in Rwanda and Burundi; widespread also in Uganda, where present in Murchison Falls National Park; locally... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Black-lored Babbler (Turdoides sharpei). 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 24 February 2020).