Chestnut-winged Babbler – forage and calls

on 11th March 2022

A pair of Chestnut-winged Babbler (Stachyris erythroptera erythroptera) was foraging in dense undergrowth for animal prey; I have often encountered them as a pair. In my experience they often look for prey in bamboo clumps, exploring bamboo sheaths and junctions between stems. They call out frequently while foraging.

A call recording can be heard here:

Calls are a haunting ‘hooting-like call’ described as ‘po-po-po’, ‘pu-pu-pu’ or ‘hu-hu-hu’ by various authors. Calls are of low frequency (4 kHz), consist of 8-14 evenly spaced notes, lasting ~ 2 seconds and repeated after 2-8 seconds. The partner may make the same call or offer a response towards the end of the call by uttering a coarse rattle described best as ‘churrchurr’ or ‘chirrherr’ (Wells 2007). In the sonogram and waveform below, you can see this response from the partner in the first and 3rd call.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Road through primary forest

Date: 1st January 2021

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


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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