“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.
“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.
“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).
“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).
“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.
“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