Chestnutbacked scimitarbabbler

Pomatorhinus montanus

SUBFAMILY

Timialiinae

TAXONOMY

Pomatorhinus montanus Horsfield, 1821, Java. Four subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Yellow-billed scimitar babbler; French: Moineau fri-quet; German: Rotruckensabler.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

8 in (20 cm). Striking bird reminiscent of New World thrashers (Mimidae). Bright chestnut mantle, flanks, and vent. Brownish primaries and tail. White chest and throat. Remainder of head black, except for well-defined white eyebrow. Long curving bill bright yellow, with black at rear of upper mandible, extending along part of culmen. Legs gray. Melodious voice.

DISTRIBUTION

Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Borneo. HABITAT

Lower and middle stories of forests, at all altitudes.

BEHAVIOR

Often associated with laughing thrushes (Garrulax sp.). Single birds may be observed, but usually in small flocks. Vocal, but usually hard to see.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Continually hunting for snails, spiders, and insects, as well as small seeds and fruits.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Presumed to be similar to that of other members of genus, with cone or bowl-shaped nest of plant material constructed by both sexes, and containing four white eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened but endemic in areas subject to increasing habitat loss due to logging.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

For many years, fairly small numbers have been exported through the cage-bird trade. ♦

BEHAVIOR

Highly furtive and mouse-like, staying concealed in ferns and other plants, but surprisingly loud, piercing whistle, followed by softer note, is heard often, apparently a contact call. Distinctive voice.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Presumably small invertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Undescribed.

Pygmy wren-babbler

Pnoepyga pusilla

SUBFAMILY Timaliinae

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, but would be vulnerable to any logging of montane forests.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Target species for ecotourists. ♦

TAXONOMY

Pnoepyga pusillus Hodgson, 1845, Nepal. Eight subspecies; some may constitute separate species.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Lesser scaly-breasted wren-babbler, brown wren-babbler; French: Turdinule mailee; German: Moostimalie.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

3.5 in (9 cm). Tiny, almost tail-less brown bird with speckled underparts, and dark eyes. Light and dark-breasted phases are present. Short, thin pointed bill.

DISTRIBUTION

Himalayas, east from Nepal, southern China, Taiwan, Indochina, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Flores, and Timor.

HABITAT

Highland forest floor thickets and moist ravines.

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