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Taiwan scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus musicus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Timaliidae
Genus: Pomatorhinus
Horsfield, 1821
Type species
Pomatorhinus montanus[1]
Horsfield, 1821

See text

Pomatorhinus is a genus of scimitar babblers, jungle birds with long downcurved bills. These are birds of tropical Asia, with the greatest number of species occurring in hills of the Himalayas.

These are medium-sized, floppy-tailed landbirds with soft plumage. They are typically long-tailed, dark brown above, and white or orange-brown below. Many have striking head patterns, with a broad black band through the eye, bordered with white above and below.

They have strong legs and are quite terrestrial. Like other babblers, these are noisy birds, and the characteristic bubbling calls are often the best indication that these birds are present. As with other babbler species, they frequently occur in groups of up to a dozen, and the rainforest species like Indian scimitar babbler often occur in the mixed feeding flocks typical of tropical Asian jungle.


The genus contains 11 species:[2]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Indian scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii Peninsular India
Sri Lanka scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus melanurus Sri Lanka
Sunda scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus bornensis Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
White-browed scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus schisticeps Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Javan scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus montanus Indonesia
Streak-breasted scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Vietnam.
Taiwan scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus musicus Taiwan
Red-billed scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps Northeast India, Southeast Asia and adjacent parts of southern China.
Black-crowned scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus ferruginosus Bhutan, India, Nepal, China.
Brown-crowned scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus phayrei Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China.
Slender-billed scimitar babbler Pomatorhinus superciliaris the Himalayas to north-western Vietnam.

The following cladogram shows the relationships within the genera according to a 2019 phylogeny by Tianlong Cai and colleagues:[3]


Coral-billed scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus ferruginosus)

Red-billed scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus ochraceiceps)

Slender-billed scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus superciliaris)

Streak-breasted scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus ruficollis)

Taiwan scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus musicus)

White-browed scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus schisticeps)

Javan scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus montanus)

Sri Lanka scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus melanurus)

Indian scimitar babbler (Pomatorhinus horsfieldii)


  1. ^ "Timalidae". The Trust for Avian Systematics. Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  2. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2021). "Babblers & fulvettas". IOC World Bird List Version 11.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  3. ^ Cai, Tianlong; Cibois, Alice; Alström, Per; Moyle, Robert G.; Kennedy, Jonathan D.; Shao, Shimiao; Zhang, Ruiying; Irestedt, Martin; Ericson, Per G.P.; Gelang, Magnus; Qu, Yanhua (2019). "Near-complete phylogeny and taxonomic revision of the world's babblers (Aves: Passeriformes)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 130: 346–356. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.10.010. PMID 30321696. S2CID 53216358.
  • Collar, N. J. & Robson, C. 2007. Family Timaliidae (Babblers) pp. 70 – 291 in; del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D.A. eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World, Vol. 12. Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
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