Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Hartlaub's Babbler (Turdoides hartlaubii)


French: Cratérope de Hartlaub German: Hartlaubschwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide de Hartlaub
Other common names: Southern White-rumped Babbler

Crateropus Hartlaubii


, 1868,

Bibala, Namibe, Angola


Often treated as conspecific with T. leucopygia. Proposed race ater (from Rwanda S to NE Zambia and SW Tanzania) considered a synonym of nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. h. hartlaubii (Bocage, 1868) – Rwanda and E & SE DRCongo S to NE & W Zambia and SW Tanzania, and to C & S Angola and NW & NE Namibia.
  • T. h. griseosquamata Clancey, 1974 – WC Zambia S to N Botswana and extreme W Zimbabwe.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–24 cm; 70–92 g. Medium-sized brownish-grey Turdoides babbler with pale scaling on head to mantle and throat, white rump, and short stout bill.... read more


    Very noisy. Chorus song a raucous high-pitched babbling “kwekwekwekwekwe­kwe…... read more


    Patches of dense scrub between woodland and drainage lines, fringes of Acacia polyacantha... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly invertebrates. Frequents middle and lower strata of vegetation, foraging mainly on ground in open. Found in pairs and in parties of... read more


    Jul–Oct in Angola; bird in breeding condition in Feb in DRCongo; Mar in Tanzania, Apr–May and Oct–Feb in Zambia, and Apr... read more


    Resident; in Botswana may extend S during rains.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in extreme SW Rwanda; abundant on Ruzizi Plain and along shores of L Tanganyika, in Burundi. Locally common in SW Tanzania; widespread in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Hartlaub's Babbler (Turdoides hartlaubii). 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).