I spent the morning with some babbler species including a pair of Chestnut-winged Babblers (Cyanoderma erythropterum erythroptera). These babblers do not go to the ground to feed but forage 2-5 meters up. They probe dead leaves and explore nooks and crannies for insects and invertebrates, often in acrobatic postures.
When calling, the neck skin becomes visible and the throat sacs inflate. The skin of the throat sacs has a pavement-like appearance. The colour of the neck (gular) skin is reported differently. HBW (2020) says ‘blue, pale blue-green or violet bare neck skin’; Wells (2007) indicates ‘cobalt blue’. My personal observation is that the neck skin of C. e. bicolor found in north Borneo is much richer/brighter blue. C. e. erythroptera has a pale, light blue skin. But it may be possible that the colour varies with breeding and lighting.
Note the dark brown-red iris and blue around the eye extending to the base of the bill. Wells (2007) says that the lower mandible is ‘slaty blue’ and I have seen that previously, but could not appreciate it in these two birds.
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Broken primary forest with secondary growth
Date: 26th October 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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