Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-capped Babbler (Cyanoderma ruficeps)


Taxonomy

French: Timalie de Blyth German: Rotkopf-Buschtimalie Spanish: Timalí coronirrojo
Taxonomy:

Stachyris ruficeps

Blyth

, 1847,

Darjeeling, India

.

Geographical variation slight; some races possibly untenable, but considerable genetic structure exists between certain populations, although overall phylogeographic structure is complex#R. Birds observed in C Laos may belong with nominate race of present species or with race insuspectum of C. rufifrons; further study required. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. ruficeps (Blyth, 1847) – E Nepal E to NE India (E Arunachal Pradesh) and adjacent S China (SE Xizang).
  • C. r. rufipectus (Koelz, 1954) – E Arunachal Pradesh S to Nagaland, N Manipur and S Assam (N Cachar), in NE India.
  • C. r. bhamoense (Harington, 1908) – NE Myanmar and S China (W & NW Yunnan).
  • C. r. davidi (Oustalet, 1899) – C & SE China (S Shaanxi S to C Sichuan and S & E Yunnan, E to Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong), NW Laos and N Vietnam (Tonkin).
  • C. r. goodsoni (Rothschild, 1903) – Hainan.
  • C. r. praecognitum (Swinhoe, 1866) – Taiwan.
  • C. r. paganum (Riley, 1940) – S Laos, S Vietnam (C & S Annam) and NE Cambodia (Mondolkiri area)#R.
  • Introduced in Hong Kong.

    Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 7–12 g. Small, sharp-billed, pale olive and yellowish-buff babbler with rufous crown. Nominate race has crown and nape bright rufous, upperparts and neck side... read more

    Voice

    Song a variable sequence of very short loud whistles, “pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi”, often with softer,... read more

    Habitat

    Broadleaf evergreen forest, bamboo stands, thick secondary bush growth in clearings; 600–3200... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, occasionally berries. In pairs during breeding season, otherwise in small foraging parties, often in mixed company with other... read more

    Breeding

    Apr–Jul across range. Nest a deep cup or neat or loose uneven ball, oval or cone, entrance at side, often towards top, made of dry or... read more

    Movements

    Resident, or with minor local altitudinal movements; in India reportedly a winter visitor in Nameri... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in far E Nepal. In Bhutan, common in temperate zone but scarce in W valleys; present in Thrumshingla National Park. Fairly common in NE... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Rufous-capped Babbler (Cyanoderma ruficeps). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/59478 on 19 February 2019).