Order: Passeriformes

Family: Leiothrichidae

Scientific name: Turdoides affinis, Jerdon, 1845

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  1. Yellow Billed Babbler is also known as White Headed Babbler.
  2. Yellow Billed Babblers nest is often parasitized by Pied Crested Cuckoo.


Yellow Billed Babbler is 20-23 cms long and weighs 60-65 Gms. They have grey brown upper parts, grey throat and breast with some mottling. The belly is pale buff in colour. The head and crown is creamy white. The iris is pale blue and bill is yellow. The rump is paler and the tail has a broad dark tip. Both sexes look similar. They live in flocks of seven to ten or more.


Yellow billed Babbler feeds mainly insects. Insects, cockroaches, spiders, larvae etc are their primary food. They also fruit, berries, nectar, grains and human food scrap. They forage in ground, or in tree branches. They do not have the ability to fly a long distance. The forage time is mainly day and it is done in groups of 7-10 birds.


The yellow billed babbler is a common bird. The main habitat is Human inhabitations, wooded country, paddy fields, orchards secondary growth, scrub jungles, urban jungles etc. In India, it is distributed in the south Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is also found in Sri Lanka.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season is March to June and October to November. Nest is an open bowl of twigs, rootlets etc built in low bushes. They are very communal and co-operative. Every bird in the group helps each other during breeding time. The nest building is done by both parents and other birds in the group. Normally 3-4 eggs are laid. The incubation of 14-16 days is shared by both parents. When the young one comes they are cared by both parents and other birds also in the same group. Pied Crested cuckoo also lays their egg in the nest of Yellow Billed Babbler. The Babblers incubate the egg and care the cuckoo young one without knowing the deceit.


The call is a musical “tri-ri-ri” trill.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata).
  • Rufous Babbler (Turdoides subrufa).
  • Common Babbler (Turdoides caudata).
  • Turdoides affinis affinis of peninsular India.
  • Turdoides affinis taprobanus of Sri Lanka.

Migratory Behaviour

Non Migratory, Common Resident