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Chestnut-crowned Babbler

(Pomatostomus ruficeps)
Alternate name(s): "Red-capped Babbler", "Chatterer*"
Aboriginal name(s): "pirrigilgilli"

Size: 21-23 cm
Weight: 55 g (average)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Chestnut-crowned Babbler at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information



Frontal view of an adult Chestnut-crowned Babbler
[100 km North of Bourke, NSW, September 2012]

Lateral view of a Chestnut-crowned Babbler
[100 km North of Bourke, NSW, September 2012]

Near-dorsal view of a Chestnut-crowned Babbler
[100 km north of Bourke, NSW, September 2012]

Dorsal view of a Chestnut-crowned Babbler in flight
[100 km North of Bourke, NSW, September 2012]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Jul - Dec Eggs: 3 - 5 Incubation period: 17 - 18 days Fledging age: 19 - 21 days

Chestnut-crowned Babblers are communal breeders. More than one female may incubate the eggs and there can be more than one brood in a season. Given the right conditions, breeding can continue until April.

Nest building: Family clan Incubation: Female(s) Dependent care: Family clan


"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Dome Material: Sticks; grass, feather lining Height above ground: 3 - 10 m


"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 27 x 19 mm Colour: Brownish, heavily lined/streaked Shape: Tapered oval

Chestnut-crowned Babblers' nest in a mulga tree
[100 km North of Bourke, NSW, September 2012]

Chestnut-crowned Babblers' nest, top centre; in this nest a clutch of 4 Nankeen Kestrel eggs were found (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Inland NSW, 1980ies]


Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Family clan

Chestnut-crowned Babblers use communal roosting platforms, which look similar to a nest, for roosting.

Food, Diet

Like all other babblers of the Pomatostomus family, Chestnut-crowned Babblers hunt for insects and their larvae in trees and on the ground.

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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