Family Laughingthrushes and allies (Leiotrichidae)

Least Concern

White-rumped Babbler (Turdoides leucopygia)


French: Cratérope à croupion blanc German: Weißbürzel-Schwatzhäherling Spanish: Turdoide culiblanco
Other common names: Northern White-rumped Babbler

Ixos leucopygius


, 1837,

central forest region along the coast of north Ethiopia


Often treated as conspecific with T. hartlaubii. Races rather varied, but seem to form a stepped cline from the white-headed nominate to black-chinned omoensis. Proposed race clarkei (from R Baro region of extreme SW Ethiopia) merged with omoensis. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. l. leucopygia (Rüppell, 1837) – coastal Eritrea extending to the highlands of N Ethiopia in the Simiens#R.
  • T. l. limbata (Rüppell, 1845) – W & C Eritrea and immediately adjacent E Sudan S to C Ethiopia.
  • T. l. smithii (Sharpe, 1895) – EC Ethiopia W to NW Somalia.
  • T. l. lacuum (Neumann, 1903) – C Rift Valley area in SC Ethiopia.
  • T. l. omoensis (Neumann, 1903) – SE South Sudan and adjacent W & SW Ethiopia.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–27 cm; 63–93 g. Medium-sized cold grey-brown Turdoides babbler with scaly breast, white lower belly and white rump; plumage rather variable. Nominate... read more


    Very noisy. Chorus song of harsh chattering calls given. Calls also harsh and scolding.


    Open stony terrain in hilly areas with light woodland, thick scrub on juniper-clad hills, scrub and... read more

    Food and feeding

    No information on diet; presumably mainly invertebrates, berries and seeds. Found in family parties or small flocks of 6–8... read more


    Nov–Dec and Feb–Jun in Ethiopia and Aug in Somalia. Nest a large untidy cup made of coarse rootlets, coarse grass, twigs and... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. In Sudan, uncommon and local in E near Eritrean border, but fairly common in SE. Frequent to common throughout Ethiopian Highlands.

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). White-rumped Babbler (Turdoides leucopygia). 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).