Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Near Threatened

Sumatran Babbler (Trichastoma buettikoferi)


French: Akalat de Sumatra German: Sumatramausdrossling Spanish: Tordina de Sumatra
Other common names: Büttikofer's Babbler

Trichostoma büttikoferi


, 1892,

Lampung district, southern Sumatra


Previously treated as conspecific with T. tickelli; precise relationships to congeners require elucidation. Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

15 cm. A nondescript babbler with disproportionately short tail, pale grey face. Crown, upperparts and side of neck olive-brown, tinged dull grey on crown and nape, with... read more


Song a rather loud “pwiyu pii biyo” and “pii byo pwiyu”, resembling that of... read more


Undergrowth in and edges of primary, lightly logged and heavily logged broadleaf evergreen forest,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and caterpillars. Forages on ground; skulks in undergrowth.


Mar–Jun, with dependent young in Aug and Dec. Clutch 2 eggs; young fed by both sexes. No other information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Conver­sion of lowland forest to oil-palm and other plantations extensive, especially since 1980s. Present... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Sumatran Babbler (Trichastoma buettikoferi). 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 April 2019).