English Name: White headed babbler
Scientific Name: Turdoides affinis
Family : Leiothrichidae
Tamil Name: Thavittu Kuruvi
Description: The cream coloured crown with dark ear coverts and a musical call distinguishes it from other babblers
Distribution and status : It is found in drier parts of India and moves about in flocks of seven hence the name `seven sisters’. It is commonly seen in dry vegetation also in gardens and fruit orchard. It is a r is a common resident breeding bird in Sri Lanka and southern India.
Habitat : This species is patchily distributed in southern India and Sri Lanka. The nominate subspecies is found in Andhra Pradesh, south of the Godavari river and Karnataka south of Belgaum into Tamil Nadu. It prefers lower altitudes and drier habitats than the jungle babbler but sometimes is found alongside it. The Sri Lankan subspecies is found in the lowlands and hills up to about 1500m avoiding heavy fores
Habits:. The White headed billed babbler lives in flocks of seven to ten or more. It is a noisy bird, and the presence of a flock may generally be known at some distance by the continual chattering, squeaking and chirping produced by its members. One member often perches high and acts as a sentinel while the remaining members of the flock forage on or close to the ground. They do not fly long distances.
Food: Insects and vegetable matter. Occasionally take on other small animals.
Life cycle : Nesting season is from January to November. Nest is an open bowel of twigs and rootlets and located low in the bush. 3-4 eggs are laid which is turquoise blue in colour. Both sexes share parental care and other older birds also feed the young. Communal or social nest building is observed in this species. This species is parasitized by Pied Cuckoo.
Role in the environment: It is very conscious by the presence of snakes. Alarm call is made by these birds whenever a snake is sighted in the habitat.
Photo sourvce : Dr. J. Patrik David