Chestnut-crowned Babbler

Did you know?

In addition to brood nests, Chestnut-crowned Babblers build communal roosting nests of twigs and sticks in dead or partly living trees.

Contact call a penetrating 'we-chee chee chee'. Short alarm call. Chatters when engaged in group activity.
Facts and Figures
Research Species: 
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Breeding season: 
Possibly June to December, but may breed all year round.
Clutch Size: 
3 to 5 eggs
Conservation Status
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Chestnut-crowned Babbler is a medium-sized dark brown-grey bird with a white throat and white-tipped tail and a rather long and down-curved bill. Like other babblers, it has a distinct white eye stripe but can be identified by the distinctive chestnut colouring on its head (crown and nape) and two white stripes on the wing coverts. It has short rounded wings and a long tail with a rounded tip. It is a very active bird that participates in noisy social activity. It is typically seen in groups of four to fifteen birds. They participate in activities such as dust-bathing, preening and feeding as a group. The Chestnut-crowned Babbler is also known as the Red-capped Babbler, Rufous-crowned Babbler or Chatterer.

Similar species: 

The Chestnut-crowned Babbler appears longer and slimmer than the other babblers and is much smaller than the Grey-crowned BabblerP. temporalis. The chestnut cap and narrow white eyebrow help to identify it.

Where does it live?

The Chestnut-crowned Babbler is endemic to inland south-eastern Australia, being found in western New South Wales, south-western Queensland, eastern South Australia and north-western Victoria.


The Chestnut-crowned Babbler occurs in arid and semi-arid woodlands, shrublands with bare ground and dense or tall shrubs and trees.

Seasonal movements: 

The Chestnut-crowned Babbler is thought to be sedentary, though little is known of its movements.

What does it do?

The Chestnut-crowned Babbler feeds on insects, spiders, small amphibians, crustaceans and reptiles. It also eats fruits and seeds.


Little is known of the Chestnut-crowned Babbler's breeding habits. Even though the parents are monogamous pairs, they are cooperative breeders with groups comprising two to four breeding pairs and two to eight non-breeding helpers.They build a dome-shaped nest of sticks, with groups building multiple nests, placed in small forks in the upper canopy of trees or shrubs. Large clutches found in brood nests may be from more than one pair of babblers.

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