The very similar Rufous-crowned Babbler Malacopteron magnum, however, is common in all type of forests in Borneo. They occur side-by-side in the same habitat and in almost identical elevation.
Population of both species dropped after logging, with Scaly-crowned Babbler dropped drastically.
In Tawau, we often bird in logged and secondary forests, Rofous-crowned Babbler is commonly encountered, its melodious song is often heard, Scaly-crowned Babbler, on the other hand, is seldom seen.
Field identification to distinguish the two is not difficult as Scaly-crowned Babbler has pale pinkish legs and pale lower mandible while Rufous-crowned Babbler has dark legs and without pale lower mandible. Another ID feature is the dark tipped crown feathers of Scaly-crowned Babbler, however, this might not be easy to observe in the field.
Rufous-crowned Babbler showing, 1. dark legs, 2. dark lower mandible and, 3. lack of black-tipped crown feathers
Scaly-crowned Babbler showing pale legs and pale lower mandible.
Black-tipped crown feathers and pale lower mandible of Scaly-crowned Babbler.
Photodocument of Wild Birds of Borneo.
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