Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Near Threatened

Grey-breasted Babbler (Malacopteron albogulare)


French: Akalat à gorge blanche German: Graubrust-Zweigdrossling Spanish: Tordina pechigrís

S[etaria]. albogularis


, 1844,



Placed in Ophrydornis in HBW, based on differences in appearance and behaviour, as well as rather more broad-based bill, but genetic data reveal it is embedded within Malacopteron#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. a. albogulare (Blyth, 1844) – Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra (including Batu Is and Lingga Archipelago#R).
  • M. a. moultoni Robinson & Kloss, 1919 – Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    14·5–16 cm; 13–23 g. Small hook-billed, rather short-tailed babbler, rather muscicapid-like in appearance, with dark grey head, white supercilium, white... read more


    Song a rather long, subdued, discordant series of ascending “whu-whi”, “whit-whu” and “uu-whi-u”... read more


    Understorey of forest, generally preferring forests on poor soils below the steepland boundary or... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including ants (Formicidae) and hoppers (Homoptera). Found singly or in pairs, sometimes in small parties of up to five... read more


    Jul–Aug in Sumatra and May–Jun in Borneo. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Scarce and local in Peninsular Malaysia, notably (at least in 1990s) at Pasoh Forest Reserve. Sparse in lowland... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Grey-breasted Babbler (Malacopteron albogulare). 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 19 April 2019).