Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Near Threatened

Rufous-throated Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis caudatus)


French: Timalie à gorge rousse German: Rotkehl-Zaunkönigtimalie Spanish: Ratina golirrufa

T[esia]. caudata


, 1845,

Darjeeling, India


Often treated as conspecific with S. badeigularis, but recent museum and field studies support treatment as separate species. Monotypic.


E Nepal E to NE India (W Arunachal Pradesh).

Descriptive notes

9 cm; 10–12 g. Small brown wren-babbler with rusty throat and breast and dark, white-spotted belly. Crown to lower back are darkish brown with indistinct darker brown... read more


Song a powerful, jangling short outburst, “witchu-witchu-witchu-witchu-witchu”, first note slightly... read more


Dense thickets and undergrowth in moist broadleaf evergreen forest, in secluded valleys and steep... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. No other information.


Little known, and published records not entirely reliable. Song period in Bhutan mid-Mar to mid-May, with second period in early Aug. Nest... read more


Resident, with minor altitudinal movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Eastern Himalayas EBA. Very rare in Nepal, with no known records since... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Rufous-throated Wren-babbler (Spelaeornis caudatus). 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 24 February 2020).