Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Least Concern

Long-billed Wren-babbler (Rimator malacoptilus)


French: Turdinule à long bec German: Assamsäbeldrossling Spanish: Ratina picuda

R[imator]. malacoptilus


, 1847,

Darjeeling, India


Formerly treated as conspecific with R. pasquieri and R. albostriatus. Monotypic.


E Nepal#R, Sikkim E to NE India (to Arunachal Pradesh; also from Meghalaya E to Nagaland and N Manipur), N Myanmar and adjacent S China (NW Yunnan).

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; 18–21 g. Small, almost tailless streaky brown babbler with very long, slightly downcurving bill, blackish moustache. Crown, nape and head side are brown... read more


Song a short (0·4 second) clear whistle, “chiiuuh” or “fyeéé... read more


Broadleaf evergreen forest, forest edge, bamboo, secondary growth, at 900–2000 m, probably... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates. Forages on floor and in undergrowth. Skulking; hops on ground and among low vegetation, rummaging among fallen leaves and... read more


May–Jul in India. Nest a rather loose untidy globe with entrance near top, made of leaves, grasses, roots, bracken fronds and weed... read more



Status and conservation

Not assessed. Generally rare or, at least, rarely recorded. Rare in Bhutan; scarce in India, where present in Buxa Tiger Reserve (West Bengal) and Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Long-billed Wren-babbler (Rimator malacoptilus). 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 23 April 2019).