The Orange-billed Babbler, Turdoides rufescens, is an Old World babbler. The Old World babblers are a large family of Old World passerine birds characterised by soft fluffy plumage. These are birds of tropical areas, with the greatest variety in southeast Asia.
The Orange-billed Babbler is a resident breeding bird endemic to Sri Lanka. In the past, it was considered to be a race of Jungle Babbler, Turdoides striatus.
Its habitat is rainforest, and it is seldom seen away from deep jungle. This species, like most babblers, is not migratory, and has short rounded wings and a weak flight.
Although its habitat is under threat, it occurs in all the forests of the wet zone, and is quite common at prime sites like Kitulgala and Sinharaja. It builds its nest in a tree, concealed in dense masses of foliage. The normal clutch is two or three deep greenish blue eggs.
These birds are plain orange brown below, and have a slightly darker shade above. The crown and nape are grey, and the bill is orange.
The Orange-billed Babbler lives in flocks of seven to ten or more. It is a noisy bird, and the presence of a flock may generally be known at some distance by the continual chattering, squeaking and chirping produced by its members. It is usually the first sign that a mixed-species feeding flock, so characteristic of Asian wet forests, is in the vicinity. It feeds mainly on insects, but also eats jungle berries.