Arrow-marked Babbler (Turdoides jardineii)

The Arrow-marked Babbler is a small, 8.5" (22cm) bird, greyish-brown all over. It has sharp-looking white-tipped feathers on its throat and breast, which become larger and softer-looking on its belly. On its crown and nape, the centres of the feathers have dark areas and some of those have white tips. The bill and feet are black. The most distinguishing feature are its yellow-orange eyes.

Arrow-marked Babblers are like all Babblers and very sociable, living in groups of up to 15 individuals, which are always together, even when roosting, when they will preen each-other. A territorial bird, one can always find the same group in the same area, which is defended in a cacophonous way, should a different group approaches.

Arrow-marked Babblers eat insects, spiders grasshoppers, caterpillars and small snails, hopping about on the ground, or in thickets, where they occasionally take seeds and fruit.

Arrow-marked Babblers are seen in Mara GR, across to Nakuru NP, where they are most numerous. They prefer Acacia thickets and disturbed woodlands with long grass.

Extra Arrow-marked Babbler Facts
Arrow-marked Babblers look very similar to Brown Babblers, but are darker in colour. Brown Babblers are found further north and the ranges do not overlap.
They make messy-looking nests from twigs, dry grass and bits of plants, lined at the bottom with smaller pieces of the same material. An average of 3 eggs are laid and all members of the group take responsibility for feeding duties.

Photographed in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
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Keywords:arrow-marked babbler, babbler, bird, kenya, wildlife

Arrow-marked Babbler

Arrow-marked Babbler in early morning sunlight, standing on a fence-post.