Oriental Bird Images

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Pin-striped Tit Babbler Macronus gularis gularis   - Display
Pin-striped Tit Babbler
Photographer : © Amar-Singh HSS
Location :fruit farming with secondary growth, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Date : 21 January 2021
English synonyms:Striped Tit Babbler, Pin-striped Tit-Babbler, Striped Tit-Babbler, Yellow-breasted Babbler
Bird Family :Timaliidae - Babblers, Babaxes, Mesia, Leiothrix, Cutias, Barwings, Minlas, Fulvettas, Crociases, Sibias, Yuhinas, Myzornis, Parrotbills & Rhabdornises
Red Data Status :Least Concern
Remarks :I was privileged to watch a social group of four Pin-striped Tit Babblers displaying together. I have in the past occasionally seen this common babbler display individually - arches the back and points the beak skyward when calling out. On this occasion I saw a group of four birds do this continually for seven minutes. They will rapidly move the body from a horizontal position to a vertical or arched backward posture, repeatedly, while calling out. There was no conflict between the group. Wells (2007) notes that Loud song occurs in a group context and groups are suspected to advertise communally.

The call made during this activity were the common harsh chrrrt-chrr or chrrrt-chrr-chrri (Robson 2002), but with much variation. A call recording of this group here:

The activity is very fast and best seen by video. It was, as usual, handheld. I tried using a stick as a monopod and a very short clip of the ‘head-bobbing’ activity here:

Note that one bird had a different coloured, lighter iris. Most of the Pin-striped Tit Babblers I encounter in my region have a dark red-brown iris. This bird had a lighter, pale yellow colour of the inner part of the iris. I considered some type of albinism but the plumage is normal. Subpecies which occur in the north (Thailand and above) have a lighter iris. I wonder if this bird is an M. g. connectens?

- Amar

It has the colour tone differentiation between cap and back typical of connectens. - David R Wells

Taxonomic Notes :This species has been separated into two. Macronous gularis, as now recognised, consists of the subspecies rubicapilla, ticehursti, sulphureus, lutescens, kinneari, versuricola, saraburiensis, connectens, inveteratus, condorensis, archipelagicus, chersonesophilus, gularis, woodi. Remaining subspecies of what was formerly known as Striped Tit Babbler are now considered part of Bold-striped Tit Babbler Macronous bornensis.
Collar, N. J. (2006) A partial revision of the Asian babblers (Timaliidae). Forktail 22: 85-112.
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