Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Baikal Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella davidi)


French: Locustelle de David German: Davidschwirl Spanish: Zarzalero de David
Other common names: Siberian Bush-warbler, Baikal Bush-warbler

Tribura thoracica davidi

La Touche

, 1923,

Chinwangtao, north-east Hebei, China


Previously placed in Bradypterus. Formerly considered conspecific with L. thoracica, but differs vocally, morphologically, genetically and in migratory behaviour; the two meet each other in C China (Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi)#R. Proposed race shanensis, described from specimens in non-breeding range (Myanmar), now considered to refer to suschkini, with which therefore synonymized; characters of stresemanni, described from SE Russia (Amurland), fall within range of variation of nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. d. suschkini (Stegmann, 1929) – SC Siberia from Altai E to SW Transbaikalia; non-breeding SE Asia (probably Myanmar and Thailand).
  • L. d. davidi (La Touche, 1923) – SE Russia (SE Transbaikalia E to W Amurland) and NE China, probably also C China (C Sichuan, S Gansu and S Shaanxi); non-breeding SE Asia (probably N Indochina).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; c. 10 g (mean 9·7 g for 12 wintering individuals). A rather small, brown bush-warbler with relatively short, round-tipped tail, long brown undertail-coverts... read more


    Song distinctive, an insect-like short, nasal rasp, “dzeeep” or similar, in series of up to 20 with... read more


    In breeding season, inhabits scrubby thickets by streams, in clearings of taiga forest, in hills... read more

    Food and feeding

    Few data. Food insects. Generally solitary. Keeps well hidden, feeding on or near ground; runs, holding tail partially cocked, and slips... read more


    Season Jun–Aug. Nest a rounded domed structure 9–10 cm tall, side entrance c. 4–5 cm in diameter, made of coarse grasses... read more


    Highly migratory. After breeding, moves S to SE Asia; in E China (near Beijing), reported on autumn... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Locally not uncommon in foothills around S end of L Baikal; farther S & W, in Sayan and Altai ranges, reportedly rare. Little information on numbers farther... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S., de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Baikal Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella davidi). 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 12 December 2019).