Australian Bush Birds
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Grey-crowned or Grey-headed Babbler  -  Pomatostomus temporalis
Grey-headed babbler Grey-headed babbler
Grey-headed Babbler with the reddish breast of the variant found in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. (Broome, WA)
Grey-headed babbler Grey-headed Babbler with the white breast of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria (photographed at Mt Isa, Q)
map map The Grey-headed Babbler - Pomatostomus temporalis - is a medium sized, grey brown bird with long, down-curved black bill. Head has narrow grey crown bordered by broad white stripes above a dark brown stripe across the eyes. Back is greyish-brown, wings dark brown with chestnut patch in flight. Tail is long, blackish-brown in colour with broad white tips. Throat and upper breast are white merging to grey breast or breast is reddish-brown depending on the variant. Grows to 26 to 29 centimetres in length.

Species is sedentary. Common in the north of Western Australia and found in the Northern Territory; also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria; but uncommon in the south-east. Babblers in Western Australia and the Northern Territory (photographs above) have the reddish breast of the rubeculus variant, other states are inhabited by the grey or white breasted temporalis variant (photograph lower left).

Grey-headed Babbler - page 2
This is a highly gregarious species living in noisy family flocks up to about 15 birds. Forages energetically in trees and on the ground where it rarely bothers about cover but uses its long curved beak to probe into nooks and crannies, especially under dead leaves, searching for food. Natural habitat is drier open forest, woodlands and road verges with grassy undercover - very common in caravan parks in tropical Australia.

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