Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler  Pomatorhinus erythrogenys


  • Pomatorhinus: pomatos – lid, cover; rhinos- nostrils {Lid covered nostrils}.
  • Erythrogenys: eruthros- red; genus –cheek { Red Cheeked}

Vernacular Names : U.P.: Ban-bakra, Cachar: Dao-gurrum buku, Lepcha: Yongo-hut-pho, Nepal: Khokiya bhekura

They belong to the family of old-world Babblers. Their long downward curved Beak give them this name.

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas

Description: Size of 22–26 cm; wt. of 59–70 g. It is a large scimitar-babbler, olive-brown above and white centrally below, with broad orange-rufous from head side to flanks and vent, has a long decurved bill. The nominate race has orange-rufous forehead, shading to buffy grey on forecrown and dull olive-brown from mid-crown to upperparts, upperwing and tail; lores are whitish-grey, side of head to breast side, flanks, thighs and vent are orange-rufous, malar line is dark greyish; chin to belly center is white, indistinct broad greyish-white streaks from chin to breast. The iris is greyish-white to chrome-yellow; bill is greyish or pale horn-brown, ivory-white base on lower mandible; legs are flesh-brown to pale horn. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile has paler rusty parts, and upperparts, edges of wings and wing-coverts have rusty wash. Race ferrugilata ( West ArunachalPradesh) is smaller than nominate, darker olive above, chin to upper breast dusky grey with whitish feather edges.

Habitat: It is found in thick scrub and dense undergrowth at forest edge, scrub in open pine forest, secondary growth. It is found from 305–2400 m.

Food Habits:  They feed on Insects, larvae, Chrysalids, seeds and berries. Mostly in pairs in summer and in small parties of up to twelve individuals in winter


Breeding Habits: They breed from Feb–Jul in India; in Bhutan in Mar–Sept. The calling individuals and duetting pairs occupy territories. The nest is built by both sexes, The nest is a loose dome with broad entrance high up at side, or sometimes open at both ends. The nest is made of coarse grasses, dry fern, bamboo or other leaves, leaf stalks, plant fibers, moss roots etc., sparsely lined with fine grasses, fibers and rootlets, placed on ground, in depression, sheltered by brushwood, tree roots, ferns, grass, bush or rock, above ground in thick bush. It lays a clutch of 2-4 eggs. The eggs are