Family Quail-thrushes and Jewel-babblers (Cinclosomatidae)

Least Concern

Blue Jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa caerulescens)


French: Ptilorrhoa bleu German: Blauflöter Spanish: Zordala azul

Eupetes caerulescens


, 1836,

Lobo, lat. 3°45’ S, long. 134°05’ E, New Guinea


Often treated as conspecific with P. geislerorum (which see). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. caerulescens (Temminck, 1836) – West Papuan Is (Salawati, Misool) and NW New Guinea (Vogelkop E to Wanggar R and Etna Bay).
  • P. c. neumanni (Mayr & Meyer de Schauensee, 1939) – N New Guinea from Mamberamo R E to Astrolabe Bay and Huon Peninsula#R.
  • P. c. nigricrissus (Salvadori, 1876) – S New Guinea from Wanggar R and Etna Bay E to Milne Bay.
  • Descriptive notes

    22 cm; 49–61 g. Male nominate race has entire body blue, except for white chin to upper breast bordered by black band from lores and broadly through and below orbit to... read more


    Song an extended series of strong whistles, descending or on even pitch, may end with loud, sharp... read more


    Rainforest, monsoon forest, adjacent tall secondary growth and gallery forest; prefers damper... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Forages on ground; uses bill to turn leaves, and probes in crevices. Flicks wings while feeding, probably to flush insects.


    Nests with eggs in mid-Sept and late Dec and fledglings in mid-Oct and mid-Nov, indicating breeding from middle of dry season to early wet... read more


    Sedentary. Ringed individuals repeatedly recaptured at same site over several years.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common. Population density near R Brown (SE New Guinea) estimated at 18 birds/10 ha.

    Recommended citation

    Boles, W. (2019). Blue Jewel-babbler (Ptilorrhoa caerulescens). 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 23 April 2019).