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Rusty-cheeked scimitar-babbler

Pomatorhinus erythrogenys
Photo by Nitin Srinivasamurthy (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
rusty-cheeked scimitar-babbler (en); zaragateiro-de-simitarra-ferrugíneo (pt); pomatorhin à joues rousse (fr); cimitarra carirrufa (es); rotwangensäbler (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

This species is found in the foothills of the Himalayas, from north-eastern Pakistan to Nepal, Bhutan and northern Myanmar and Thailand.

These birds are 27-28 cm long and weigh 50-60 g.

They are mainly found in dense scrublands and forest edges, often near human settlements.

Rusty-cheeked scimitar-babbler forage on the ground among leaf litter, taking adult and larval insects, molluscs, crustaceans, chilopods and earthworms. This mainly carnivorous diet is sometimes supplemented with berries and fruits.

These birds breed in April-June. The nest is a rough, loosely built structure made of dead leaves, grasses, bamboo leaves and ferns, placed on a steep embankment or at the base of a tree. There the female lays 2-4 white eggs with dark spots, which are incubated by both sexes for 14-16 days. The chicks fledge 2 weeks after hatching, but continue to receive food from parents for another month.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any current declines or substantial threats.

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