Family Scimitar-babblers and allies (Timaliidae)

Least Concern

Tawny-bellied Babbler (Dumetia hyperythra)


French: Timalie à ventre roux German: Rotbauchtimalie Spanish: Timalí ventrirrufo

Timalia hyperythra


, 1831,

Ganges between Calcutta and Benares (Varanasi), India


Proposed races abuensis (from W India) and navarroi (Western Ghats) considered inseparable from albogularis. Races show increasing amounts of white N to S, and differences in vocalizations minor. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. h. hyperythra (Franklin, 1831) – N, C & E India and S Nepal.
  • D. h. albogularis (Blyth, 1847) – W & S India.
  • D. h. phillipsi Whistler, 1941 – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 10–15 g. Striking small babbler, ochrous-brown above and buffy rufous below, with longish graduated tail. Nominate race has forehead to mid-crown rusty brown,... read more


    Clear whistling song of 7 notes; described also as pleasant, quick, thin, piercing, high-pitched... read more


    Open wooded country and scrub, grassland dotted with shrubs, bamboo clumps, thorn-scrub, wasteland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects, in Sri Lanka larvae and minute beetles (Coleoptera) noted; nectar of coral trees (Erythrina) and Salmalia... read more


    Jan–Oct; multi-brooded. Nest a loose or neat dome, with side entrance (sometimes towards top), made of coarse grasses, dead bamboo or... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare and local in Nepal. Generally common in India, where seen intermittently in Rajaji National Park and common in Dudhwa National Park (both Uttar... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2018). Tawny-bellied Babbler (Dumetia hyperythra). 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 15 November 2018).