Large Scimitar Babbler   Pomatorhinus hypoleucos


  •  Pomatorhinus: pomatos – lid, cover; rhinos- nostrils.  {Lid covered nostrils}
  • Hypoleucos: hupo beneath; leukos white  { White underparts}

 Vernacular names : Cachar: Dao-hoot

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas, Hills of North East and Western Ghats in India.

Description:  Size of 26–28 cm; 68 g. It is a large scimitar-babbler, dark above and whitish below, with heavy pale bill, dark eye and blade-like grey scales on flanks. The nominate race has dark olive-brown crown, slightly paler scaling on forecrown, upperparts are rufescent dark olive-brown, stronger rufescent-chestnut fringing on dark brown upperwing and tail; lores are buffy grey, cheek and ear-coverts are greyish-brown, postocular supercilium and neck side behind ear-coverts are dull rufous-chestnut; submous­tachial area is mottled grey-brown and white, chin to belly are buff-tinged white, flanks are blackish-slate with a few blade-shaped white streaks along border with breast and belly, thighs are ochrous-grey, vent  is dull ochrous-rufous; iris is  brown to deep red-brown, naked patch behind eye is dull bluish-flesh; bill is pale horn with yellow, grey or green tinge; legs are pale slaty grey. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile has markings on breast side and flanks more diffuse, crown and upperparts are more rufescent. The race tickelli is paler overall than nominate, with more long whitish streaks on breast side, buff streaking on chestnut rear supercilium and neck sides and brownish ear-coverts; race hainana has smaller and slightly shorter-billed, greyer on crown, buffier on ear-coverts, slightly darker on upperparts and flanks; race brevirostris has chestnut-toned on tail, wing and vent, underparts are washed warm buff, bill possibly shorter on average; race wrayi resembles nominate, but greyer on crown and much colder and darker on upperparts, with blacker bill, browner ear-coverts, whitish-flecked dark grey-brown supercilium, dark chestnut neck side with whitish flecks, and more long whitish streaks on breast side. It is found in broadleaf evergreen forest and mixed deciduous forest, bamboo, scrub-jungle or cane-jungle, reeds and elephant grass. It is found from 900m up to 2100 m.

Food Habits:  It eats insects and their larvae small molluscs and small shelled snails. It is found in pairs and occasionally in small parties. It forages in understorey and below. It keeps to ground more than other scimitar-babblers, hopping about in very ungainly manner.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Nov–May. The nest is a large, semi-domed oval, like that of a pitta but very open, the part forming the dome or roof sometimes flimsier than rest, the cup is fairly deep and more solid, made of bamboo or other leaves, sometimes mixed with grass, creeper tendrils or other materials, sometimes composed almost entirely of roots, and lined with rootlets and fern fibers, placed on ground in tangles of cane, bamboo or scrub, or lodged between leaf stalks of palm or rattan, or tangle of vines up above ground. They lay a clutch of 2–5 eggs.