Tawny-bellied babbler

Tawny-bellied Babbler  Dumetia hyperythra


  • Dumetia: Latin word for “Thicket”
  • Hyperythra: Greek word hupo- beneath; eruthros -red. { Reddish beneath}

Vernacular Names: Hindi: Shah dumri, Pun: Geru dhidi serhari, Guj: Karamadi laledo, Futki laledi, Te: Pandi-jitta, Mal: Chinna chilappan, Sinh: Batechia, Parandel-kurulla, Mar: Vitkari/ Pingat Potacha satbhai

They belong to the family of old world Babblers and also known as Rufous-bellied babbler

Distribution in India: Resident of Peninsular, West and Central India

Description: Size of 13 cm; wt. of 10–15 g. It is a striking small babbler, ochrous-brown above and buffy rufous below, with longish graduated tail. The nominate race has brownish forehead to mid-crown rusty, slightly darker lateral crownstripe, hindcrown to back is dull ochrous-brown, slightly paler on uppertail-coverts. The upperwing and tail is mid-brown; lores, supercilium and cheek are buffy rufous with slight grey tinge. The chin, throat, submoustachial area, neck side and underparts are rich buffy rufous. The iris is hazel to creamy white; bill is pale brown, paler lower mandible; legs are pale yellowish to dusky-tinged yellowish-flesh. Both the sexes are similar. The juvenile lacks rusty tinge on forehead, underparts are duller and paler. The races found in India are , Nominate race ( North, Central and East India), race albogularis ( West and South India) has white oval patch from chin to upper breast, small white patch on central belly, much paler head side, paler buffy rufous .

Habitat: It is found in open wooded country and scrub, grassland dotted with shrubs, bamboo clumps, thorn-scrub, wasteland near forest, deciduous and mixed-deciduous scrub-jungle and forest. It is found from lowlands to 1800 m.

Food Habits: It eats mainly insects and larvae and minute beetles and also nectar of coral trees . It moves through grass and feeds on ground among dead leaves, foraging in manner of a Fulvetta.

Breeding Habits: The breeding season is Jan–Oct; they are multiple brooded in a year. This babbler builds its nest as a loose or neat dome, with side entrance (sometimes towards top), made of coarse grasses and dead bamboo or other leaves, rarely paper shavings, scantily lined with fine grasses, grass roots, fern stems, hair and fine fibers, placed on ground among dead leaves or near ground among bamboo roots, grass or weeds, or in shrub, or thorny bush overgrown with creepers. It lays a clutch of 2-4 eggs. The incubation period is 13 days. Nestling period is 18 days. Brood parasitism by Banded Bay Cuckoo occurs.