Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Least Concern

Temminck's Babbler (Trichastoma pyrrogenys)


French: Akalat de Temminck German: Rostwangen-Mausdrossling Spanish: Tordina de Temminck

Myiothera pyrrogenys


, 1827,

Bantam Province, Java


Proposed race besuki (from E Java) considered inseparable from nominate. Birds observed in N & S Borneo (E Sabah and S Kalimantan) apparently not assigned to race. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. p. canicapillus (Sharpe, 1887) – N Borneo (W Sabah).
  • T. p. longstaffi (Harrisson & Hartley, 1934) – NW Borneo (E & NE Sarawak and adjacent Kalimantan).
  • T. p. erythrote (Sharpe, 1883) – W Borneo (SW Sarawak and adjacent Kalimantan).
  • T. p. pyrrogenys (Temminck, 1827) – Java.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm. Smallish babbler, dull brown above with darker cap, whitish below with rufescent breastband. Nominate race has crown greyish-brown with pale shaft streaks, upperparts... read more


    Song a quickly repeated, loud, rather shrill “witichéw”, with varying pauses between phrases;... read more


    Undergrowth of primary forest, and dense vegetation at edges of clearings; lowlands to 1300 m in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Ants (Formicidae) and large insects. Forages on ground, hopping (not walking), or keeps mainly to undergrowth below 3 m, sometimes working... read more


    Dec–Apr in Borneo. Nest a compact cup built in base of shrub, tussock or aerial root. Clutch 2 eggs, dull bluish-green, usually... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in Borneo; judged uncommon in Sabah, but fairly common in Mount Kinabalu National Park; present in Kayan Mentarang National Park, in E... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Temminck's Babbler (Trichastoma pyrrogenys). 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 23 January 2020).