Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

Southern Pied Babbler (Turdoides bicolor)


French: Cratérope bicolore German: Elsterschwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide bicolor

Cratopus bicolor


, 1831,

South Africa




N & NE Namibia, Botswana, SW & S Zimbabwe and N & NE South Africa. Possibly extreme S Angola and SW Mozambique#R.

Descriptive notes

24–25 cm; 63–96 g. Medium-sized white Turdoides babbler with black bill, wings and tail. Head and body are pure white, with brownish-black tail and wing... read more


Chorus song involves various harsh but quite high-pitched chattering notes, “cha-cha-cha”, “keeyi-... read more


Semi-arid to arid savanna (avoiding more open areas and more mesic woodlands), often with abundance... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including tenebrionid beetles, beetle larvae, caterpillars and moths (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), ants (Formicidae),... read more


Oct–Apr in Namibia, Sept–May (mainly Oct–Dec) in Botswana and Aug–Jan (mainly Nov) in Zimbabwe; Oct–Jan and... read more


Resident, but groups may wander in response to local conditions; considered vagrant in Free State,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Widespread in N Namibia; common to very common throughout most of Botswana. Widespread in Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe, but... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Southern Pied Babbler (Turdoides bicolor). 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).