Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Rufous Babbler (Argya subrufa)


French: Cratérope roussâtre German: Orangebauch-Elsterhäherling Spanish: Turdoide rufo

T[himalia]. subrufa


, 1839,

the Wynaad, near Manantoddy, Tamil Nadu, India


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. subrufa (Jerdon, 1839) – W peninsular India S to S Karnataka and N Tamil Nadu.
  • A. s. hyperythra Sharpe, 1883 – SW India (Kerala and W Tamil Nadu).
  • Descriptive notes

    24–25 cm; 57–78 g. Medium-sized Turdoides babbler, rich brown above and rufous below, with fairly stout black and yellow bill, dark lores and greyish... read more


    Calls given in chorus are bursts of very rapid, shrill whistling trills, “tree-tree-tree”, notes... read more


    Dense scrub undergrowth in more open broadleaf evergreen and moist deciduous forest, forest edge,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, also berries (particularly of Lantana), and nectar of Erythrina, Salmalia and other flowers. Found in... read more


    Feb–Nov, mainly Feb–May. Nest a large rough strong deep cup made of leaves, grasses, creepers and herb stems, lined with fine... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Western Ghats EBA. Rare in N sector of range, but fairly common in Kerala and W Tamil Nadu. Present in Mudumalai... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Rufous Babbler (Argya subrufa). 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).