Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Least Concern

Large Scimitar-babbler (Erythrogenys hypoleucos)


French: Pomatorhin à long bec German: Riesensäbler Spanish: Cimitarra grande

O[rthorhinus]. hypoleucos


, 1844,

Arakan, Lower Myanmar


Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. h. hypoleucos (Blyth, 1844) – NE Indian states, E Bangladesh and N & W Myanmar.
  • E. h. tickelli (A. O. Hume, 1877) – S China (S Yunnan, Guangxi), N Indochina, S Myanmar (N Tenasserim), Thailand and SW Cambodia.
  • E. h. hainana (Rothschild, 1903) – Hainan.
  • E. h. brevirostris (Robinson & Kloss, 1919) – S Indochina.
  • E. h. wrayi (Sharpe, 1887) – extreme S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Descriptive notes

    26–28 cm; 68 g. Large scimitar-babbler, dark above and whitish below, with heavy pale bill, dark eye and blade-like grey scales on flanks. Nominate race has crown dark... read more


    Song a geographically and individually variable series of usually 3 short, syncopated, loud, hollow... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest and mixed deciduous forest, bamboo, scrub-jungle or cane-jungle, reeds... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and their larvae (including those of passalid beetles), small molluscs, small shelled snails. Usually in pairs, occasionally in... read more


    Nov–May. Nest a large, semi-domed oval, like that of a pitta (Pitta) but very open, the part forming the dome or roof... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Current status in India uncertain; very few records, but present in Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, in Mizoram. Rare in Bangladesh, where small... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Large Scimitar-babbler (Erythrogenys hypoleucos). 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).