About Brown-Capped Babbler

The Sri Lanka bush warbler is a solitary bird that prefers dense undergrowth in forested areas. It is primarily a mountain species, rarely seen below 1,500 meters in the central hills. They move in pairs or small groups of three or four people. Their diet consists of insects and seeds that they collect from shrubs and the ground. They can be distinguished from other species by their overall dark-brown color, dark grayish breast, and the faint light stripe that runs across their eye. Young males have a pale, reddish-yellow iris, whereas young females have a white iris. A small bird measures 16โ€“16.5 cm in length.

Where are They Live?

Sri Lanka Chestnut-Backed Owlet - Habitat Map

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Megalaimidae
Genus: Psilopogon
Species: P. Rubricapillus
Binomial Name: Psilopogon Rubricapillus

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Small brown babbler with dark cinnamon underparts and a blackish-brown cap. A terrestrial species is found on or near the ground in forests, forest edges, and nearby scrub and thickets in wooded areas, usually in pairs. The striking coloration of the cap and underparts distinguishes this species in its limited range in Sri Lanka. The repetitive song is a three-note whistle “wit-wi-yoo” that ascends at the beginning and descends at the end. Other more complex warbles are provided, such as an exhilarating series of untidy, down-slurred whistles.


The breeding season appears to last from mid-March to the end of May, with a second season lasting from mid-August to the end of September. The nest is usually close to the ground, near an opening or a footpath. The nest is built on top of it as that is hidden among the foliage. It is shaped like an open cup. Two pale-pink eggs (21.7 x 26.1 mm) are laid, each with fine purple-brown specks coalescing at the larger end.

In culture

It is known as Parandel-Kurulla (which translates to ‘dried-grass(colored) bird’) or Redi Diang (which is an onomatopoeic name) in the Sinhala language in Sri Lanka, where it is found. A Brown-capped babbler can be found on a Sri Lankan postal stamp worth 4 rupees.


Three subspecies have been found in Sri Lanka.

  • P. f. babaulti (T. Wells, 1919) – low country dry zone
  • P. f. fuscocapillus (Blyth, 1849) – hill country
  • P. f. scotillum (Blyth, 1849) – low country wet zone

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