Southern Pied Babbler.

Southern Pied Babbler(Turdoides bicolor). Found in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

The bird is a medium-sized (75-95 g) cooperative breeder. Groups range in size from 2-16 adults, and pairs are rare. The species is sexually monomorphic. Each group comprises a dominant breeding pair that monopolise the breeding opportunities.

All group members cooperate to help raise the young hatched from a single clutch. Clutch size varies between 2 and 5, with an ideal clutch size of three. The breeding season extends from late-September to early April, although this varies between years and is strongly rain-dependent. Groups can raise up to three successful clutches per breeding season.

Aggression toward fledglings is most commonly observed when the dominant pair have begun to incubate another brood. During this period, begging fledglings will be punished by parents using aggressive behaviour such as jumping on the youngster. In all cases, fledglings stop begging immediately following the attack.

Pied babblers are territorial, and defend their area using wing and vocal displays on a near daily basis. These fights however rarely lead to physical aggression and injury. Groups defend the same territory year-round and small groups tend to lose portions of their territory to larger neighbouring groups.

Linda and I were privileged to witness, nearly daily, this territorial battle whilst in Kathu. The birds are very vocal and it looks as though they’re about to start a war… then the one side will back down and fly off… the winners get together and chat away noisily .. as though they’re discussing the others….

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And that’s what they think of the other team……

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30 thoughts on “Southern Pied Babbler.

  1. I really appreciate the way you capture the birds in their personality as well as beauty. Have you taken count of how many different birds you’ve photographed? You must have quite a catalog! Debra

    • I have not tallied up exactly how many I’ve captured on camera, but I can assure you its quite a few… but what keeps me going… I’m nowhere near having captured them all… a lot of the birds are easy to see flitting around in the trees, but to capture them on camera takes luck… I have one I recently captured whilst in Kathu… they are never still and move so fast, yet this day this one came and sat right in front of me and had it’s photo taken… that’s the luck of the draw…

    • It was fascinating to watch… Linda and I sat at an outdoor coffee shop enjoying the fares of the shop and could witness the goings on right in front of us… a real sparing match without any contact, one of those pretend type bouts…

    • I seem to always get the wrong end of a story… so why not the birds….
      So many bird photographers are always asking if you got a good shot of the birds eye… I always answer no but got a good shot of the butt….

    • Sexually monomorphic…. only the senior pair of the group breed… the rest get to aid raising the young… happens with Hyena and wild dogs as well…
      Yep I love the bird butts…

    • Thanks Julie… a fascinating bird… and something I’ve found with age, is to look more at the behavior of nature as well as it’s beauty.. the behavior says so much that we all tend to over look…love it..

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