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A photo of a Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler (Erythrogenys erythrogenys)
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler

Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler

Erythrogenys erythrogenys

The Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, a bird of subtle charm, is adorned in an olive-brown plumage with a distinctive rusty hue gracing the sides of its face, head, thighs, and flanks. The belly of this avian wonder is predominantly white, offering a stark contrast to its warmer tones. Both sexes share this similar attire, making them indistinguishable in the field. The species' beak is a notable feature, long and decurved, resembling the shape of a scimitar from which its name is derived.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify this elusive bird, look for its characteristic rusty cheeks and the unique curvature of its beak. The overall olive-brown coloration with white underparts is also a key feature to observe. The sexes appear similar, so focus on these physical attributes rather than any sexual dimorphism.

Habitat

The Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler is a denizen of subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, as well as subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is most comfortably found at elevations reaching up to 2600 meters, where the air is crisp and the foliage dense.

Distribution

This species has made its home in the majestic Himalayas, extending its range through to the verdant landscapes of Myanmar. It is a bird that has embraced the varied elevations and climates of South-East Asia.

Behaviour

In the wild, the Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler is a sociable creature, often seen foraging in small groups. It is a ground dweller, preferring the forest floor and lower canopies for its explorations. The bird is known for its vocal nature, contributing a symphony of sounds to the forest ambiance.

Song & calls

The Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler communicates through a repertoire of sounds, including a mellow, fluty whistle and a distinctive two-noted "CUE..PE…CUE..pe" call. This call is often followed by a single note response from its mate. Additionally, the species emits guttural alarm calls and a liquid contact note, ensuring constant communication within the group.

Diet and Feeding

A forager by nature, this babbler's diet consists of insects, grubs, and seeds. Its feeding habits are a testament to its adaptability, thriving on the diverse bounty that the forest floor and lower canopy provide.

Conservation status

The Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. It appears that, for now, this species enjoys a stable existence within its natural habitat.

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