Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Illadopsis (Illadopsis pyrrhoptera)


French: Akalat montagnard German: Berglaubdrossling Spanish: Tordina montañesa
Other common names: Mountain Thrush-babbler

Callene pyrrhoptera

Reichenow and Neumann

, 1895,

Mau (0°10’ S, 35°41’ E), Kenya


Previously placed in genus Malacocincla. See comments under I. rufipennis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. p. pyrrhoptera (Reichenow & Neumann, 1895) – E DRCongo, SW & E Uganda, W Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and W Tanzania.
  • I. p. nyasae (Benson, 1939) – N Malawi.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14·5 cm; 20–30 g. Nominate race has olivaceous-grey crown with indistinct darker scaling, grey lores, cheek and neck side, narrow indistinct supercilium... read more


    Song a duet, a simple melodious warble in which presumed male gives usually 3 well-spaced pure... read more


    Bamboo and dense leafy undergrowth of primary and secondary montane and transition evergreen forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, including ants (Formicidae), small crickets (Orthoptera), moths and caterpillars (Lepidoptera), and small snails; also... read more


    Jan–Feb and Jul–Aug, also breeding-condition bird and immature in May and bird with brood patch in Sept, in Uganda; breeding-... read more


    Resident; in W Kenya, irregular and rare occurrence in Kakamega Forest speculated as involving... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon to very common in different parts of range. Very common in W Rwanda. Often common in Uganda, and commonest at higher altitudes.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Mountain Illadopsis (Illadopsis pyrrhoptera). 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).