Rufous-throated Wren Babbler   Spelaeornis caudatus


  • Spelaeornis: Greek word spelaion- cave; ornis – bird { Cave dwelling bird}
  • Caudatus: Latin word for Tailed derived from cauda- tail

Distribution in India: Resident of Eastern Himalayas.

Description: size of 9 cm; Wt. of 10–12 g. It is a small brown wren-babbler with rusty throat and breast and dark, white-spotted belly. The crown to lower back are darkish brown with indistinct darker brown scaling, fluffy feathers of rump plainer dark brown, upperwing and tail is plain dark brown, former with slight rusty fringes. The face (forehead, lores, ear-coverts and submoustachial area) plain brownish-tinged grey. The chin to breast and flanks are plain rusty rufous, becoming increasingly spotted with black on breast and flanks such that lower underparts become slaty while rufous becomes spotted and shades to whitish on mid-belly to vent. The iris is brown; bill is blackish; legs are brown. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile is plainer than adult, more reddish above without scalloping, rusty colour of throat paler and barring indistinct.

Habitat: It is found in dense thickets and undergrowth in moist broadleaf evergreen forest, in secluded valleys and steep narrow gulleys, especially where ferns, mossy rocks and fallen trees. It is found from 1400–2400 m in India.

Food habits: It eats Insects.

Breeding habits:  They  breed in Mar to mid-May, with second period in early Aug. The nest is made of leaves, fine twigs, bracken and grass, lined with vegetable down or other matter, resembling earth-brown papier-mâché, or as dense mass of moss, cup-shaped and placed about roots of tree or in hole in fallen log. They lay a clutch of 3–4 eggs.