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Chestnut-winged Babbler – calls and call-display

on 1st July 2016

WingedBabblerCh-iridescent patch [AmarSingh] 1

“Another shy babbler, the Chestnut-winged Babbler (Stachyris erythroptera bicolor) that was easy to watch at RDC (above). We had close naked eye views for 6-7 minutes with many calls and call-displays.

WingedBabblerCh-iridescent patch [AmarSingh] 3

“It follows the classical babbler feeding pattern of meticulously exploring dead leaves and vegetation hanging on trees and bushes; often poking the head in to look for insects and invertebrates in acrobatic postures (above, below). Generally very accommodating of our presence.

WingedBabblerCh-iridescent patch [AmarSingh] 4

“As can be seen from images, S. e. bicolor has a much dark grey-black crown, nape, and upper breast. Males are said to have more prominent blue patches at the side of the throat (Phillipps 2014) (below).

WingedBabblerCh-iridescent patch [AmarSingh] 2

“The babbler was calling frequently while we watched. It was alone and I did not see a mate or hear a response (could have been softly in the distance).

WingedBabblerCh-iridescent patch [AmarSingh] 6

“The calls were the classical ones previously described. A haunting ‘hooting-like call’. The first note is different from the rest. It starts with a ‘hu’ and is followed by between 5-7 ‘ho’ or ‘poh’ notes – see the sonogram/waveform above and edited audio recording in below.

WingedBabblerCh-iridescent patch [AmarSingh] 5

“When making the calls the bird often will raise its head (pointing skyward) and then come down to a bowing position and finally back to horizontal – see composite above. In addition the blue patches at the side of the throat become more prominent.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st May 2016

Location: RDC, Sepilok, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia
Habitat: Interior of forest reserve, thick canopy

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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