The Black Browed Babbler

News: Black-browed Babbler(Malacocincla perspicillata) has been rediscovered. It is spotted in southeastern Kalimantan, Borneo in Indonesia after 170 years. 

About Black Browed Babbler: Black Browed Babbler is a songbird species in the family of Pellorneidae. 

Conservation Status:  

  • IUCN Red List: Data Deficient. However, IUCN says that the global population size of the bird has not been quantified, but the species is described as possibly extinct. 

Habitat: The natural habitat of M. perspicillata is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, at altitudes of 200–1,170 m (660–3,840 ft). Its rediscovery in 2020 made it clear that the bird is from southeast Borneo. 


  • Features of the bird:  
  • They vary in size and coloration. 
  • These birds have strong legs, and many are quite terrestrial.  
  • This group is not strongly migratory, and most species have short rounded wings and are weak flyers. 
  • The upper parts of the bird were rich brown while the underparts up to the breast were greyish with fine white streaking.  
  • The bird has a broad black eye stripe and the iris was found to be deep red. The legs are dark slate-grey. 
  • They are social birds that are usually found in family groups and small flocks of up to about 20 individuals. 
  • Food Habits: They are omnivores and mainly feed on meat, plant material and / or berries. 

Significance: The bird is known for the longest known missing period (170 years) for any Asian species. It is also often called ‘the biggest enigma in Indonesian ornithology’. 

Print Friendly and PDF