Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Chestnut-crowned Babbler
Pomatostomus ruficeps
(Viewing 4 of 6 photos)

Click to listen to sound samples I always regard Chestnut-crowned Babblers as the Speedy Gonzales of the babbler clan. So often you see them hopping and bouncing in follow the leader fashion over the ground in more open situations - that's probably because they mainly inhabit the arid zone where there is more open ground! I used to think they were the smallest of the babblers, I guess because in those more open situations they are shy and not easy to approach so I saw them from further away, but on checking the books I learnt that the White-browed Babbler is actually smaller.

In the east, you have to go as far west as Cunnamulla or Cobar before you'll find them - in Victoria they only just make it into the north-west corner and up along the Murray River a little - in S.A. you have to go north-east or north of the Flinders Ranges. They don't occur in either the N.T. or W.A.

Like the other babblers, they live communally in family groups, up to 20 or so at times and build huge stick nests, both for roosting and for nesting. I photographed these birds at Lake Bindegolly near Thargomindah in Queensland where they are easy to observe in the low shrubland around the edge of the lake. Another good place to see them is a bit further on at Kilcowera Station SE of Thargomindah where the camping and facilities are excellent.

Researchers from the University of NSW have recently studied the social system of the Chestnut-crowned Babbler at the Arid Zone Research Station near Fowlers gap N of Broken Hill. For an interesting resume, enter into your search engine.

Photo: 446001

446001 ... Chestnut-crowned Babbler.

Photo: 446201

446201 ... Chestnut-crowned Babbler.

Photo: 446202

446202 ... Chestnut-crowned Babbler

Photo: 446203

446203 ... Chestnut-crowned Babbler

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