Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Blackcap Babbler (Turdoides reinwardtii)


French: Cratérope à tête noire German: Weißaugen-Schwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide cabecinegro
Other common names: Reinwardt's Babbler

Crateropus Reinwardii

[sic] Swainson

, 1831,

“Indian Islands”; error = Senegal


Has been thought possibly to be conspecific with T. melanops and T. tenebrosa. Race stictilaema moderately distinctive, with its greyer lower head sides, lightly streaked pale grey-buff vs plain whitish chin and upper throat, and slightly darker breast markings. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. r. reinwardtii (Swainson, 1831) – Blackcap Babbler – Senegal E to S Mali and Sierra Leone.
  • T. r. stictilaema (Alexander, 1901) – Dusky-throated Babbler – N Ivory Coast, S Burkina Faso and Ghana E to Cameroon, S Chad, Central African Republic and extreme N DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–26 cm; 69–91 g. Fairly large Turdoides babbler, tail not particularly long, with solid blackish hood, plain grey-brown upperparts and spotted breast.... read more


    Chorus song involves accelerating and crescendoing single, scraping “jaaaaaaaa” or double “gwááá-ga... read more


    Gallery forest, thick clumps of riverine vegetation in open savanna woodland, swampside thickets,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and berries found in stomachs. Forages on ground among fallen leaves and debris under tangled vegetation, also among dead banana... read more


    Nov–Dec in Gambia, Jan in Senegal, Sept–Jan in Sierra Leone and Nov–Jul in Mali; fledged dependent young in Jan in Ghana... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common across range. Fairly common and widespread in Gambia, S Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea, less so in Sierra Leone;... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Blackcap Babbler (Turdoides reinwardtii). 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).