Jungle babbler

Jungle Babbler  Turdoides striatus


  • Turdoides: Latin word turdus- thrush; Greek word oides –resembling { Resembling Thrush}
  • Striatus : Latin word for Striated

Vernacular Names: Hindi: Saatbhai, Pengya myna, Jangli-khyr, Ghaughai, Sans: Aranya haholika, Pun: Jangli serhari, Bi.: Katch-batchia, Ben: Chatarhia, Ass: Xaatbhani, Bhil: Nelo, Kaugo, Guj: Vana laledo, Van lelun, Mar: Jungal saatbhai, Khekta, Ori: Satabhaya, Te: Pedda-sida, Adavi-sida, Mal: Kariyilakili, Kan: Kadu havatamalla

They are always found in a noisy group of 7-10 birds and hence called as “Seven Sisters/Brothers”

Distribution in India: Resident in widespread part of India except higher Himalayas

Description: Size of 25 cm; wt. of 55–84 g. It is a medium-sized Turdoides babbler with pale eye, whitish lores, yellow bill and dull brownish-grey plumage, softly streaked on back and breast. The nominate race has crown and nape brownish grey, upperparts are drab grey-brown, mantle and back has a few long, soft-edged dark brown streaks, rump and uppertail-coverts are greyish, tinged yellowish rufous on uppertail-coverts. The upperwing is dark brown with ashy edges, tail is dark greyish brown, darker and noticeably barred towards tip; lores are whitish with narrow dark line above, face and neck-side are plain brownish grey; chin and throat are pale dull grey with vague darker bars, breast is ashy yellowish with paler feather centers and shafts. The belly, vent and undertail-coverts are dull yellowish rufous, tinged brown on flanks and with faint white shaft-streaks. The iris is yellowish white or creamy white, orbital skin is pale yellow; bill is yellow, yellowish white, dirty whitish or, pale horny yellow; legs are fleshy yellow to yellowish white. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile is paler than adult, upperparts and head is pale brown, underparts are rufescent, brownish on breast, primary fringes ochraceous. Race sindiana is more ashy above than nominate, and more creamy buff on belly; race malabarica is more brownish grey than nominate, particularly on tail; race orientalis is like nominate but slightly browner above, with rufous tinge at tail tip.

Habitat:It is found in forest and secondary forest, patches of moist deciduous forest, scrubland, bamboo, gardens, cashew and jack-fruit gardens, orchards, hedges in cultivation, bushes on waste ground, mango groves, sheesham plantations with tall coarse grass, tamarisk jungle, hillsides with scrub and mixed forest. It is found up to 1830 m.

Food Habits: They form the core of a mixed-species foraging flock. They feed mainly on invertebrates, mainly insects, including hymenopterans, beetles, grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), cockroaches, caterpillars, moths, mantises ,stick-insects, bugs, spiders, frogs; grain, seeds, figs , berries, and nectar .The groups maintain territories and will defend it against neighbours but will sometimes tolerate them.When foraging, some birds take up a high vantage point and act as sentinels. They are known to gather and attack potential predators such as snakes.

Breeding Habits:  They breed in India all year, Feb–Oct in North West & West and Apr–Dec in South West. The nest is built by both sexes and sometimes one or more helpers. The nest is a fairly loose, deep or shallow cup, made of grasses, roots, leaves, creeper tendrils and twigs, scantily lined with rootlets and fine grasses, placed above ground in bush, shrub, hedge, small tree or hollow tree stump. They lay a clutch of 3–7. More than one female may lay in one nest. The incubation period is 15 days. The nestlings are fed by both sexes, sometimes also by one or more helpers. Brood parasitism is done by Jacobin Cuckoo and Common Hawk-cuckoo .Birds fledge and females tend to leave their natal group after about two years. Birds within a group often indulge in allopreening, play chases and mock fights. When threatened by predators, they have been said to sometimes feign death