Family Australasian Babblers (Pomatostomidae)

Least Concern

White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus)


French: Pomatostome bridé German: Brauensäbler Spanish: Gárrulo cejudo

[Pomatorhinus] Superciliosus

Vigors and Horsfield

, 1827,

Yorke Peninsula, South Australia


Geographical variation slight and perhaps to some extent clinal, and races intergrade; validity of races questioned, and differences may be due largely to degree of plumage wear; further study required. Birds from Gascoyne Valley (W Western Australia) sometimes separated as race gwendolenae, but appear indistinguishable from nominate. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. superciliosus (Vigors & Horsfield, 1827) – CW Western Australia E to South Australia and W Victoria.
  • P. s. ashbyi Mathews, 1911 – SW Western Australia.
  • P. s. centralis Schodde & Mason, 1999 – C Australia (S Northern Territory, N South Australia).
  • P. s. gilgandra (Mathews, 1912) – inland SE Australia (S Queensland S to C Victoria and EC New South Wales).
  • Descriptive notes

    17–22 cm; 30–50 g. Small, dull brown pomatostomid with comparatively narrow white supercilium, mainly white underbody. Nominate race has top of head dark brown,... read more


    Various chattering, bubbling and whistling notes, and loud cat-like calls sometimes given.


    Open native forests, woodlands and shrublands, typically with dense understorey dominated by ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects, including cockroaches (Blattodea), beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), wasps (Hymenoptera),... read more


    Recorded in all months, but mainly Jul–Nov. Breeds co-operatively in groups, with up to six helpers, but nature of bonds not fully... read more


    Mainly sedentary, but some evidence for local movements or nomadism in parts of range. Almost all... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to scarce. Population densities estimated at 0·1–1·6 birds/ha; at least 11 breeding groups within 55 ha on Peron Peninsula, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Matthew, J. (2019). White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus). 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 18 March 2019).