Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Least Concern

Grey-throated Babbler (Stachyris nigriceps)


French: Timalie à tête rayée German: Schwarzbrauen-Buschtimalie Spanish: Timalí gorjigrís
Other common names: Montane Babbler (larvata group)

St[achyris]. nigriceps


, 1844,



Races form two groups that differ in mitochondrial DNA and head coloration#R; further study needed. Thirteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. n. nigriceps Blyth, 1844 – Northern Grey-throated Babbler – C & E Nepal E to NE India (to C Arunachal Pradesh) and adjacent S China (SE Xizang).
  • S. n. coei Ripley, 1952 – E Arunachal Pradesh (Mishmi Hills), in NE India.
  • S. n. coltarti Harington, 1913 – extreme NE India (SE Arunachal Pradesh S to Nagaland and adjacent S Assam), N & NE Myanmar and S China (W Yunnan).
  • S. n. spadix Ripley, 1948 – Meghalaya and S Assam (N Cachar) E to Mizoram (NE India), E Bangladesh, S & SE Myanmar (including Tenasserim) and NW & W Thailand.
  • S. n. yunnanensis La Touche, 1921 – extreme E Myanmar, N Thailand, S China (S Yunnan, SW Guangxi), N & C Laos and N Vietnam (Tonkin, N Annam).
  • S. n. rileyi Chasen, 1936 – S Laos and C & S Vietnam (C & S Annam, N Cochinchina).
  • S. n. dipora Oberholser, 1922 – C & S peninsular Thailand.
  • S. n. davisoni Sharpe, 1892 – extreme S peninsular Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • S. n. tionis Robinson & Kloss, 1927 – Tioman I, off E Peninsular Malaysia.
  • S. n. larvata (Bonaparte, 1850) – Southern Grey-throated Babbler – Sumatra and Lingga Archipelago.
  • S. n. natunensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1894 – N Natuna Is.
  • S. n. hartleyi Chasen, 1935 – W Borneo.
  • S. n. borneensis Sharpe, 1887 – N Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–15 cm; 10–18 g. Nondescript babbler, dull brown above and buff-brown below, but with well-marked head pattern. Nominate race has crown blackish, striped with... read more


    Song a very high-pitched, quavering or undulating, rising “ti tsuuuuuuuueee” or “tsi tuuuuuuuuuiiii... read more


    Primary and secondary evergreen broadleaf forest, low secondary scrub and bamboo-jungle in dense... read more

    Food and feeding

    Almost entirely insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and locustids; some berries, seeds and nectar taken. Outside breeding season found... read more


    Feb–Aug generally; Dec–Aug in Borneo. Nest, built mostly by female, a bulky, often loose cup or dome with wide entrance at... read more


    Resident. Possibility of local (presumably altitudinal) movements in India suggested by reports... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common throughout range. Local in Nepal, but frequent E of Kathmandu Valley, rare farther W. Common in C & E valleys and E foothills of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Grey-throated Babbler (Stachyris nigriceps). 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).