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The Puff-throated Babbler or Spotted Babbler (Pellorneum ruficeps) is a species of passerine bird found in Asia. They are found in scrub and moist forest mainly in hilly regions. They forage in small groups on the forest floor, turning around leaf litter to find their prey and usually staying low in the undergrowth where they can be hard to spot. They however have loud and distinct calls, including a morning song, contact and alarm calls. It is the type species of the genus Pellorneum which may however currently include multiple lineages.
A passerine is any bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or — less accurately — as songbirds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes (three pointing forward and one back), which facilitates perching. With more than 110 families and some 5,100 identified species, Passeriformes is the largest order of birds and among the most diverse orders of terrestrial vertebrates.
The passerines contain several groups of brood parasites such as the viduas, cuckoo-finches, and the cowbirds. Most passerines are omnivorous, while the shrikes are carnivorous.
The terms “passerine” and “Passeriformes” are derived from Passer domesticus, the scientific name of the eponymous species (the House Sparrow) and ultimately from the Latin term passer, which refers to sparrows and similar small birds.
Distribution and habitat
This bird is a common resident breeder in the Himalayas and the forests of Asia. Like most babblers, it is not migratory, and has short rounded wings and a weak flight. Its habitat is scrub and bamboo thickets and forages by turning over leaves to find insects.
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there
Puff-throated Babblers are brown above, and white below with heavily brown streaks towards the breast and belly. They have a chestnut crown, long buff supercilium and dusky cheeks. The throat is white, and is sometimes puffed out giving it the English name. Puff-throated Babblers have strong legs, and spend a lot of time on the forest floor.
They can often be seen creeping through undergrowth in search of their insect food, looking at first glance like a Song Thrush . Some subspecies have streaks on the mantle while others, especially in Peninsular India, are unstreaked.
The widespread distribution with population variations has led to nearly thirty subspecies being described. The nominate population is found in peninsular India (excluding the Western Ghats). The
population in the northern Eastern Ghats is paler and has been called as pallidum while a well marked dark form occurs in the southern Western Ghats which has been named granti (includes olivaceum). The western Himalayas population is punctatum (includes jonesi) and in the east is mandellii which has streaking on the back and nape apart from having call differences. In the east of India, south of the Brahmaputra River occurs chamelum while ripley is found in a small region in eastern Assam (Margherita).
Further east in Manipur is vocale and pectorale in Arunachal Pradesh and northern Burma with stageri further south, followed by hilarum, victoriae and minus. Further east are found shanense, subochraceum, insularum, indistinctum, chtonium, elbeli, acrum, oreum, dusiti, vividum, ubonense, euroum, deignani, dilloni and smithi. Several others have been described and many populations are difficult to assign to subspecies. This is the type species for the genus Pellorneum and its generic placement is assured although other species currently included in the genus may be reassigned.
Behaviour and ecology
Puff-throated Babblers vocalize often. Their calls are a series of whistling notes ascending in scale. Some calls have been transcribed as he'll beat you, pret-ty-sweet. The calling can be persistent. The breeding season is mainly during the rainy season. They build a nest on the ground at the base of bush and is a dome of leaves and twigs with an entrance on the side.
The opening usually points downhill when the nest is on sloping ground. The clutch varies from 2 to 5 eggs, with northern populations tending towards larger clutches. Parent birds run rodent-like in the undergrowth as they move in and out of the nest. Young birds fledge and leave the nest about 12 to 13 days after hatching.
Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 25 January 2016
Location: Magadhi Zone, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, India
PLEASE! As I'm a first time birdwatcher bear in mind that some of the bird can be wrongly named. I have bought books and I confirm on the internet to get the right identity on the birds I take pictures off. But there can still be mistakes.
I have had most help from my friend, the bird pal I met at Suan Rot Fai. Sending pictures of birds I have not been able to identify to him via Line. 3 minutes later he and he have managed to identify most of the birds I have had problems with. THANKS! Visit his web page m☥lever for his beautiful pictures.
And my new aid, maybe, and I say maybe the best aid. I brought my mobile phone as my SIM card have stopped working and I tried to get it to work again so I can use the internet. Thus I had my phone in my pocket on my first game drive in Jim Corbett National Park.
We saw a bird and I asked my Guide and the driver if they had a pen and a paper as I had forgot my pen and paper in my room. I remembered my LG phone and I recorded the name. And thus I will always bring my phone. Writing the name in the car and I have found more than once that it can be hard to read what I had wrote when I'm back in my room.
So now I always have my mobile in my pocket and it has been a great help. And from November 2018 I use eBird. Bird watching in U.A.E and Oman and my guide in Dubai recommended eBird and I have used the app since then and I note every bird I can identify in my eBird app.
25 January 2016 - Magadhi Zone, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, India