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Bare-cheeked Babbler

Turdoides gymnogenys


Size of a dove, with some 25cm in length, this is a gregarious and a very noisy bird. I heard, very clearly, a group of them and, not knowing what they could be, went in their search of them - and, in a rapidly descending light, found a group of 25 to 30 birds buzzing in this tree... They sport brown mantle over the whitish head and underparts, and have decorated faces and rusty-brown necks. And, boy, yes, they are noisy...


Seen in Kunene region of Namibia (northwest), around Warmquelle town, in arid open woodland landscape. Very dry (but still magnificent and rich in wildlife) at the moment, following a three-year dry-spell. Near endemic, occurring in drier parts of Namibia (north-west) and Angola (south-west); but according to some sources, breeding only in Namibia (?).


Not very well documented bird at my knowledge, except short chapters in various Wildlife guidebooks - another lifer for me from magnificent Namibia, and it seems as a lifer for PN too... These were seen totally by chance - or Karma - while in the field, we made a typical beginners mistake and had only one spare tyre; I believe you can guess the ending of this story. And while the part of the team went back to look for a repair shop, I had a time to stroll through that woodland, and saw some birds missing from my collection - this babbler is one of them. Karma!

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1 Comment

Mel11 11 months ago

There is something especially uplifting on being in the right place at the right time

Zlatan Celebic
Spotted by
Zlatan Celebic

Kunene Region, Namibia

Spotted on Mar 13, 2020
Submitted on Mar 15, 2020

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