Spiny Babbler Turdoides nipalensis Scientific name definitions

Carol Inskipp and Hem S. Baral
Version: 2.0 — Published May 7, 2022

Plumages, Molts, and Structure



Juvenile plumage is similar to adult plumage, but plainer, warmer brown, and without rigid shafts.


The crown and upperparts are olive-tinged brown with indistinct but shiny black rigid shafts (which disappear poster­iorly). The upperwing and tail are plain brown with faint narrow barring. It usually has a whitish chin and throat, a creamy buff chest becoming warmer on the sides, a whitish belly, rufescent-olive undertail coverts, and shiny, black, pointed rigid shafts forming dense narrow streaking. The streaks soften and widen on the rufescent-olive flanks.

Bare Parts


Brownish black, with the lower mandible pale gray basally.


White to pale bluish.

Tarsi and Toes

Pale brownish gray.


Linear Measurements

Total Length

25 cm (22–26 cm) (8).

Wing Length

83.5 mm (79–87 mm) (9).

Tail Length

112.3 mm (106–117 mm) (9).

Exposed Culmen

22.3 mm (9).

Tarsus Length

30.0 mm (9).


Reported as 58 g and 64 g (Diesselhorst and Paynter, in 8).

Recommended Citation

Inskipp, C. and H. S. Baral (2022). Spiny Babbler (Turdoides nipalensis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.spibab1.02