Fun Spiny Babbler Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Oct 20, 2022 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Spiny babbler facts such as this species of birds is endemic to Nepal.

The spiny babbler (Turdoides nipalensis) is a species of bird of the genus Turdoides in the family Leiothrichidae. This bird species is found only in Nepal and is endemic to the region.

In fact, the spiny babbler is the only endemic bird in the country of Nepal.

In the local language of the country, the bird species is known as Kande Bhyakur, which actually means 'a thorny bird'. Found only in the Middle Hills of Nepal, the spiny babbler Nepal range includes the Kathmandu valley, specifically near the Godavari and Phulchoki area near the city of Lalitpur.

Although the species was first described in the mid-19th century by Brian Houghton Hodgson, it was later famously rediscovered by an American ornithologist named Sidney Dillon Ripley in the late 1940s. After the first discovery, the species was never seen again and was feared to be extinct until the 1940s when it was rediscovered.

There are more than 800 bird species found in Nepal, but only the spiny babbler is endemic to the region.

The birds are quite shy and remain hidden in the forest. Only in the early breeding season, the males are seen singing the song in the open nature.

To sing, the males live in dense scrubs and climb branches of small bushes and trees. The bird species needs to be protected as it is most threatened by cleaning scrub for agriculture and expansion of human establishments.

For more relatable content, check out these tawny owl facts and hornbill facts for kids.

Spiny Babbler Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a spiny babbler?

The spiny babbler is a bird species endemic to Nepal.

What class of animal does a spiny babbler belong to?

The spiny babbler (Turdoides nipalensis) is part of the family Leiothrichidae of the class of Aves in the kingdom of Animalia. It is also known by scientific names, Timalia nipalensis and Acanthoptila nipalensis.

How many spiny babblers are there in the world?

The population of the spiny babbler bird is not known. However, for now, the birds are quite abundant and found widespread in their habitat. It is rare to observe them in the forest though as the birds are quite shy. The area of existence is quite limited with just a range within 34324.4 sq mi (88,900 sq km).

Where does a spiny babbler live?

The spiny babbler is found only in Nepal. These birds are found in the Middle Hills of Nepal.

The birds are also seen around the Kathmandu valley around the Godavari and Phulchoki area near the city of Lalitpur in Nepal. The bird species may also range further west into the northwest Indian region, but this is not proved. Many Indian ornithologists have been trying to determine the extent of the range of the species.

What is a spiny babbler's habitat?

The habitat of the species includes dense scrub and secondary growth at slightly lower altitudes. The bird is found in the moist tropical and sub-tropical scrublands of Nepal. The bird species are also found in the mountain range of the area. They are found in scattered trees at an altitude of 2952.7-6890 ft (900-2100 m).

Who do spiny babblers live with?

The spiny babblers are known to live in groups.

How long does a spiny babbler live?

The lifespan of the species is not known. There is not enough data to determine the age.

How do they reproduce?

The bird is known to breed from April to June. A deep-cut cup-shaped nest made of grasses is placed in low scrub. The nest size is not that big as it is placed in a small tree. A clutch of three to four pale blue eggs is laid by the female.

These eggs are incubated by both parents for 20 days. Both parents feed the chicks. Chicks fledge after 22-24 days and become fully independent in four to six weeks after fledging.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the spiny babbler (Turdoides nipalensis) is categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. Although it has a restricted range, the population is stable at the moment.

The mountain range in the region needs to be protected at any cost as these can be home to most of these bird species. The bird is threatened in the wild nature by the expansion of urban regions and clearance of the scrub habitats for agricultural practices.

Spiny Babbler Fun Facts

What do spiny babblers look like?

The spiny babbler (Turdoides nipalensis) is a big bird with brown plumage. It has a pointed beak. The bird species have streaked underparts, pale eyes, and a chalky-white face patch.

This is a big grayish-brown bird with a white face patch and pale eyes.

How cute are they?

They can be considered quite cute.

How do they communicate?

This is a shy species and mostly remains inconspicuous in the forest. However, even when the species is of babblers, the birds are known to sing a loud and melodic song from the thick bushes they hide in.

However, no song can be heard in the winter period. Males sing their song in the open nature during the early breeding season living in dense scrub areas and branches of small trees and branches.

How big is a spiny babbler?

Found in the valley of Kathmandu, the spiny babbler is a big bird with a length up to 11.02 in (28 cm).

How fast can a spiny babbler fly?

The speed is not known.

How much does a spiny babbler weigh?

The weight of the species is around 0.14-0.2 lb (63.5-90.7 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of the spiny babbler (Turdoides nipalensis) are not given different names.

What would you call a baby spiny babbler?

A baby spiny babbler is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

Like other species in the genus Turdoides like the jungle babbler, the spiny babbler (Turdoides nipalensis) found only in Nepal feeds mostly on insects. The insects range from beetles, butterflies, caterpillars, dragonflies, grasshoppers, bugs, wasps, and other insects like different types of worms.

The diet also includes nectar, fruits, berries, and seeds. The birds mostly forage on the ground among low bushes.

Are they friendly?

They are quite shy and usually do not come in contact with humans.

Would they make a good pet?

They are not considered pets as they mostly remain inconspicuous.

Did you know...

They do not migrate.

They mostly feed on insects.

Scientific names of the species include Turdoides nipalensis, Acanthoptila nipalensis, and Timalia nipalensis. However, the species is known by the name Turdoides nipalensis.

What noise does the spiny babbler make?

Unlike other babblers, the spiny babbler is known to sing loud and melodious songs. The bird can even mimic with squeaks, chuckles, and chirps.

What is the spiny babbler locally known as?

Part of the family Leiothrichidae, the spiny babbler is known by the name Kande Bhyakur in the local language of Nepal. It literally means 'a thorny bird' in the language.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these grey-crowned babbler facts and pheasant facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable babbler coloring pages.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

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Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

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Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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