Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Black-winged Babbler (Turdoides somervillei)


French: Cratérope de Somerville German: Malabarschwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide alinegro

Timalia Somervillei


, 1832,

“the Ghauts”


Usually treated as conspecific with T. striata, but differs in its vaguely scalloped vs vaguely streaked breast (2); black edges to primaries forming bold black panel on closed wing (3); stronger rufous tinge to lower underparts and buffy-rufous vs pale grey rump (2); parapatric distribution or very narrow zone of hybridization (assume latter; score 2) with T. s. malabarica in S of range. Monotypic.


W peninsular India (from Surat Dangs S to Goa).

Descriptive notes

25 cm; male 59–72 g. Medium-sized Turdoides babbler with pale eye, yellow bill and brownish-rusty plumage, softly streaked on breast. Adult has dark line above lores... read more


Harsh “ke-ke-ke” given frequently, this often becoming a loud discordant chorus of squeaking and... read more


Open forest and second growth, scrub, bamboo, plantations, gardens, also cultivations (usually at... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly invertebrates, also frogs; also takes grain, seeds, berries, figs (Ficus), and plant nectar. Invertebrates taken include, among... read more


Breeds mainly Feb–Oct (with spring and midsummer peaks). Social breeder, but does not nest colonially, different pairs in group apparently... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common. Although this species has a relatively small range, within which its population size has not been quantified, its population... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Black-winged Babbler (Turdoides somervillei). 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 25 February 2020).