Abbott’s Babbler

posted in: birds, Sex | 0

I am always surprised at how many pairs of Abbott’s Babblers (Malacocincla abbotti olivacea) there are in overgrown, secondary growth locations all over the city. I spent 50 minutes with one pair today and after a while they tolerated my presence while they foraged, as well as continued their vocal duet. The presumed male is shown above and below. Note the tail in the image below.

The presumed female in particular came very close, within focal distance. I identified the presumed male and female based on social behaviour and vocalisation. The male was less confiding and led the vocal antiphonal duet. There is little to differentiate them in appearance (as mentioned in literature) except the female did look a little smaller (Wells 2007; Pierce, Pobprasert and Gale 2004, The Wilson Bulletin) but this is subjective in the field.

The presumed female is shown above and below.

Foraging was not on the ground but ranging from 1 to 9 meters above the ground. Most of their prey was obtained by checking under living leaves. They did investigate dead, curled up leaves hanging on trees but this was not the norm. Most prey taken was small insects (unidentified on this occasion). The presumed male had moulting wing tail feathers and had a two toned tail colour.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Secondary growth in the city

Date: 2nd February 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone



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