Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Least Concern

Red-billed Scimitar-babbler (Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps)


French: Pomatorhin à bec rouge German: Rotschnabelsäbler Spanish: Cimitarra piquirroja
Other common names: Orange-billed Scimitar-babbler, Long-billed Scimitar-babbler

Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps


, 1873,

Karen Hills, Upper Myanmar


Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. o. stenorhynchus Godwin-Austen, 1877 – extreme NE India (E Arunachal Pradesh) and extreme N Myanmar.
  • P. o. austeni A. O. Hume, 1881 – NE India (Meghalaya E to Nagaland and S to Mizoram), SE Bangladesh and N Myanmar.
  • P. o. ochraceiceps Walden, 1873 – SE Myanmar (including N Tenasserim), NW Thailand, S China (S Yunnan) and N Indochina.
  • P. o. alius Riley, 1940 – N Thailand, S Laos and Vietnam (C & S Annam).
  • Descriptive notes

    22–24 cm; 33–38 g. Distinctive, with long decurved orange bill. Nominate race has crown and upperparts, upperwing and tail rufescent mid-brown; long supercilium... read more


    Highly vocal; groups give variety of mellow and harsh notes. Song a hurried staccato hollow piping... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, bamboo clumps, in Laos also Fokienia-dominated forest. Found... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, including snails, caterpillars and beetles (Coleoptera); also nectar and seeds. Keeps in pairs or parties of up to six or so... read more


    Mar–Jul. Nest an oval ball made of broad grass blades, bamboo leaves and a few other dead leaves, loosely put together, lined with... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon in NE hills in India; fairly common in Namdapha National Park (Arunachal Pradesh). Evidently very localized and rare in Bangladesh. Uncommon... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Red-billed Scimitar-babbler (Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps). 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 February 2019).