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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(babblers and allies), a family of birds of the order Passeriformes. The Timaliidae range from 9 to 40 cm in length. The wings are short and rounded, and the legs are strong. The plumage is loose and mostly dull in coloration, although occasionally with yellow or red.

There are 243 species, which are distributed in the subtropical and tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, and western North America. The Timaliidae are nonmigratory. They inhabit the lower strata of forests and thickets on plains and in mountains as high up as the subalpine zone. They frequent the ground, flying for only short distances. The diet consists of insects and other small invertebrates and of berries. The Timaliidae are sometimes kept as cage birds.

There is one species in the USSR—the streaked laughing thrush (Garrulax lineatus), which occurs in mountains in the southern parts of Middle Asia. Some ornithologists consider the Timaliidae a subfamily of the family Muscicapidae.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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