Tuesday 18 June
Slender-billed babbler (Turdoides longirostris)
Slender-billed babbler fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Slender-billed babbler description
The slender-billed babbler (Turdoides longirostris) is an elusive species native to India and Nepal with rich chestnut upperparts and slightly paler underparts (2). It has bluish-white eyes, with pale narrow ‘eyebrow’ stripes and pale lores (3). The long tail is faintly cross-barred (2) and the bill is dark, slender and curves slightly downwards (3).Top
Slender-billed babbler biology
A gregarious species, the slender-billed babbler forages in noisy groups, searching leaf litter for insects, worms and caterpillars (4) (5) (6). Although a sociable, restless bird, it rarely shows itself and is reportedly hard to spot as it moves through the dense grass, except for during the breeding season when it is more conspicuous, largely due to its loud singing (5).
The breeding season of the slender-billed babbler falls between May to June in north-east India and between March and May in Nepal (5). Its nest is a deep, cup-shaped structure made from grass and leaves, placed in a bush surrounded by grass (6). It lays three to five pale blue eggs (6).Top
Slender-billed babbler range
The slender-billed babbler is endemic to India and Nepal (3). Although once described as common, this bird is today only found at three locations, one in central Nepal and two in north-east India (3).Top
Slender-billed babbler habitat
The slender-billed babbler inhabits tall grassland, in lowlands and the foothills of the Himalayas, as well as grassy plateaus between elevations of 900 and 1,200 metres. It is usually found near water (5).Top
Slender-billed babbler status
The slender-billed babbler is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Slender-billed babbler threats
Extensive habitat loss has put the slender-billed babbler under considerable threat. Large areas of tall grassland and marshland once inhabited by this babbler have been cleared for the cultivation of crops, such as rice and sugarcane, and have also been degraded by over-grazing by livestock and over-harvesting of grass for thatch production (3) (5). The remaining grasslands continue to be subject to intense pressure from these activities, making grasslands perhaps the most threatened habitat in the Indian subcontinent (5).Top
Slender-billed babbler conservation
Although the slender-billed babbler occurs in significant numbers in both Chitwan National Park and Kaziranga National Park (3), there are currently no specific measures in place to conserve this threatened bird.
The grasslands of the Indian subcontinent, and thus the numerous species that inhabit them, currently receive relatively little protection (5). Further action is needed to ensure the protection of these important habitats, such as controlling livestock-grazing (5) and sustainable management initiatives, which allow local people to harvest grass for thatch whilst ensuring there is sufficient habitat for threatened grassland birds (3).Top
Find out more
Learn more about bird conservation:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Region between the eye and bill.
IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2001) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
BirdLife International (November, 2010)
- Podulka, S., Rohrbaugh, Jr., R.W. and Bonney, R. (2004) Handbook of Bird Biology. Second Edition. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.
- BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
- Shrestha, T.K. (2001) Birds of Nepal: Field Ecology, Natural History and Conservation. Bimala Shrestha, Kathmandu, Nepal.
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.