Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis)


French: Prinia cendrée German: Rostbauchprinie Spanish: Prinia cenicienta

Prinia socialis


, 1832,

Deccan, central India


Assertion in HBW that Sri Lanka race brevicauda differs vocally from others not strongly supported#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. stewarti Blyth, 1847 – NE Pakistan (E from upper Indus Valley), N & W India (E to S Bihar, S to N Madhya Pradesh) and Nepal.
  • P. s. inglisi Whistler#R, 1933 – NE India (N West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh), Bhutan and NE Bangladesh.
  • P. s. socialis Sykes, 1832 – peninsular India (S from S Bihar and S Madhya Pradesh).
  • P. s. brevicauda Legge, 1879 – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 6·7–7·5 g. Distinctive prinia with blue-grey, rufous and ­rufous-buff plumage, tail very long and graduated (less so when breeding).... read more


    Song, from bushtop or wire, or in air, a loud and cheerful “jimmy-jimmy-jimmy” repeated... read more


    Bushy places, from scrubby grassland to garden shrubbery, including Lantana thickets,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small invertebrates, chiefly insects and their larvae, and small spiders (Araneae); believed also to take flower nectar from Bombax... read more


    Season Mar–Nov, varying with local rains; in India May–Aug in NE (Assam), chiefly Jul–Sept in C India, mainly Apr–... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common over much of its extensive range. One of the most familiar and widespread of Indian birds, there being few bushy gardens within its range... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Ashy Prinia (Prinia socialis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 September 2019).