Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)


Broad-tailed Grassbird (Schoenicola platyurus)


French: Mégalure à queue large German: Rundschwanzsänger Spanish: Yerbera coliancha
Other common names: Broad-tailed Warbler

Thimalia platyura


, 1841,

Goodaloor, foot of Nilgiri Hills, southern India


Often considered conspecific with S. brevirostris; critical comparison of vocalizations and DNA needed. Distinct differences exist between birds from N of range (larger, duller and greyer above, contrasting reddish-brown wings, whiter below) and those from S (rather smaller, darker reddish-brown above, buff below); significance of this, which apparently is not due to plumage wear, unclear and requires investigation. Monotypic.


Western Ghats of SW India, locally from W Maharashtra S to E Kerala and W Tamil Nadu.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; c. 20 g. Distinctive warbler with rear-heavy appearance created by combination of small head and bill, relatively long and broad tail (strongly graduated), and... read more


Not well documented. Song, in flight or from perch on grass or top of small bush, variable, has... read more


Grassy and bracken-covered hillsides and ridgetops, from 900 m to 2000 m. Includes reeds and grass-... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly studied. Food small invertebrates, chiefly insects. Generally solitary, and (unless song-flighting) typically skulking. Forages on... read more


Jul–Sept, also (from condition of specimens) Mar–May; probably double-brooded. In distinctive song flight, soars to 4–5 m... read more


Presumed resident. Individual in Nov in SE India (Point Calimere, on E coast of Tamil Nadu)... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Western Ghats EBA. Precise status difficult to assess because of the species’ skulking nature and the inaccessibility... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2019). Broad-tailed Grassbird (Schoenicola platyurus). 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 21 March 2019).