Pied Trillers

The Pied Trillers (Lalage nigra) occur naturally in Asia.

They are closely related to the White-rumped Trillers ( Lalage leucopygialis) and some authorities lump them together into one species. However, based on plumage differences, some feel they are more closely related to the White-shouldered Triller (Lalage sueurii).

Distribution / Habitat

Pied Trillers occur naturally in Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Pied Triller (Lalage nigra)

Pied Triller (Lalage nigra)

Subspecies and Ranges:

  • Lalage nigra nigra (J. R. Forster, 1781) – Nominate Form
    • Found on the island of Borneo (located north of Java Island, Indonesia) and adjacent islands, and the Philippines.
  • Lalage nigra davisoni (Kloss, 1926)
    • Found in southern Andaman Islands and central Nicobar Islands (Camorta, Katchall, Trinkat).
  • Lalage nigra striga (Horsfield, 1821)
    • Found in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra (including Nias Island), Bangka, Belitung and western Java (including Karimunjawa Islands).


Pied Trillers measure between 6.3 – 7 inches (16 to 18 cm) in length.

Their plumage on top is boldly patterned in brownish / black and white (commonly referred to as “pied” – hence their common time) and whitish below.

The face is white with one black stripe through each eye. The bill is black and the legs and feet greyish.

Pied Triller (Lalage nigra)

Diet / Feeding

Pied Trillers feed on various insects, which are taken on the ground, picked up from foliage, or are caught in mid-air.

Breeding / Nesting

The open cup nest is constructed out of twigs, mosses and other plant material and usually attached to a branch. A clutch consists of 1 – 2 eggs.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds

Sound Recordings

Pied triller

Alternate (Global) Names

Cebuano: bugaungon … Chinese: ???? … Czech: housen?ík ?ernoh?betý, Housencík cerný … Danish: Broget Triller … Dutch: Bonte Triller … Finnish: Kurnulivertäjä … French: Échenilleur térat … German: Weißstirnlalage, Weißstirn-Lalage … Indonesian: Kapasan, Kapasan Kemir … Italian: Mangiabruchi gazza … Japanese: madaranakisanshoukui … Malay: Rembah Kening Putih … Norwegian: Parktrillefugl … Polish: gasienicojad srokaty, g?sienicojad srokaty … Russian: ????????? ?????????-???????, ?????? ????????? … Slovak: húseniciarka bielocelá … Spanish: Gorjeador Pálido … Swedish: Svartvit drillfågel … Thai: ????????????????

Cuckoo-shrikesCuckooshrike Species Photos
Pied Triller (Lalage nigra)
Pied Triller
Photo of author

Team Beauty of Birds

Beautyofbirds.com's team of experts includes veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and active bird watchers. All put together, we have over half a century of experience in the birding space.

You can meet our team here.