Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Least Concern

Buff-breasted Babbler (Trichastoma tickelli)


French: Akalat de Tickell German: Rostbrust-Mausdrossling Spanish: Tordina de Tickell

Pellornium [sic] Tickelli


, 1859,

“Woods of Teewap’hado”, 1100 to 1500 feet [c. 35–460 m], Amherst district, Tenasserim, Myanmar


Formerly placed in Pellorneum. Previously considered conspecific with T. buettikoferi. Race garoense previously and erroneously listed under junior synonym assamense; however, these names are subjective synonyms and two different taxa may indeed be separable in this region#R#R. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. t. garoense (Sharpe, 1883) – NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, E & S Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur), E Bangladesh and N & W Myanmar.
  • T. t. grisescens (Ticehurst, 1932) – SW Myanmar (W of R Irrawaddy).
  • T. t. fulvum (Walden, 1875) – S China (SW to SE Yunnan, W Guangxi), SE Myanmar, NW & N Thailand, N & C Laos and N Vietnam (Tonkin, N Annam).
  • T. t. annamense (Delacour, 1926) – N & E Cambodia, S Laos and C & S Vietnam (C & S Annam, Cochinchina).
  • T. t. tickelli (Blyth, 1859) – S Myanmar (Tenasserim), W & S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm. Featureless smallish babbler, warm brown above, warm buff below, with whitish belly, no grey on face. Nominate race has rufescent-brown crown with faint buff... read more


    Song a loud, sharp, quickly repeated “wi-twee” or “wi-choo”, sometimes incessantly repeated,... read more


    Evergreen forest and occasionally mixed deciduous open or deep forest, secondary growth, bamboo... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), and spiders (Araneae). Found in pairs; sometimes associates with other small babblers. Skulks in... read more


    Mar–Jul generally; multi-brooded. Nest a domed, semi-domed or deep cup, made of dry bamboo or other leaves, fine grasses and thin... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in India, where present in Namdapha National Park (Arunachal Pradesh). Locally common in Bangladesh. Common in limited range in China... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Buff-breasted Babbler (Trichastoma tickelli). 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 22 April 2019).