Chestnut-winged Babbler

posted in: birds, Morphology-Develop. | 0

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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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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