The South African Bird Ringing Unit

Ringing birds around Africa!


Southern Pied Babbler project NC

Researcher/s: Mandy Ridley, Martha Nelson-Flower, Tom Flower, Amanda Bourne

Project Webpage

Species: Southern Pied-Babbler (Turdoides bicolor)
Location: Kuruman River Reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa
Click to view sighting map
Running From: 2003 to present
Ring Type: Legring: colour combination
Colour Combination: 3 Colours per bird

The Pied Babbler Research Project was established by me in 2003 and is based in the southern Kalahari desert, South Africa. The Arabian Babbler Project was established by Prof Amotz Zahavi in 1974 and is based in the Negev desert, Israel. Both projects have been running continuously since establishment and use detailed observations of habituated populations to gain an insight into the dynamics and evolution of group-living behaviour.


  • Nelson-Flower, M.J. & Ridley, A.R. (in press). Nepotism and subordinate tneure in a cooperative breeder. Biology Letters.
  • Humphries, D.J. Finch, F.M., Bell, M.B.V. & Ridley, A.R. (2016). Vocal cues to identity: pied babblers produce individually distinct but not stable loud calls. Ethology 122, 609-619.
  • Engesser, S., Ridley, A.R. & Townsend, S.W. (2016). Meaningful call combinations and compositional processing in the southern pied babbler. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 5976-5981
  • Wiley, E.M. & Ridley, A.R. (2016). The effects of temperature on offspring provisioning in a cooperative breeder. Animal Behaviour 117, 187-195
  • Keynan, O & Ridley, A.R. (2016). Component, group and demographic Allee effects in a cooperatively breeding bird species, the Arabian babbler (Turdoides squamiceps). Oecologia 182, 153-161
  • Keynan, O, Ridley, A.R. & Lotem, A. 2016. Task-dependent differences in learning by subordinate and dominant wild Arabian babblers. Ethology 122, 399-410.

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