Family Accentors (Prunellidae)

Least Concern

Brown Accentor (Prunella fulvescens)


French: Accenteur brun German: Fahlbraunelle Spanish: Acentor pardo

Accentor fulvescens


, 1873,



Formerly considered conspecific with P. ocularis (with fagani). Racial differentiation complicated owing to individual variation (partly age-related, also influenced by plumage wear) and occurrence of intermediates. Described race sushkini (from extreme S Xizang, in China) synonymized with khamensis. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. f. dahurica (Taczanowski, 1874) – E Kazakhstan to SC Russia (Altai and Sayan Mts E to Transbaikalia) and Mongolia (except W & SW).
  • P. f. mongolica Sushkin, 1925 – W & SW Mongolia (Achit Nur, Gobi-Altai) and N China (W Inner Mongolia, N Ningxia).
  • P. f. fulvescens (Severtsov, 1873) – SE Kazakhstan and W China (E to E Xinjiang and NE Xizang) S to C Afghanistan, and W Himalayas (E to extreme N India).
  • P. f. dresseri E. J. O. Hartert, 1910 – W China (S Xinjiang and Qaidam Basin S to Kunlun Shan).
  • P. f. nanschanica Sushkin, 1925 – C China (NE Qinghai and SW Gansu S to S Sichuan).
  • P. f. khamensis Sushkin, 1925 – S fringe of Tibetan Plateau in SW China (S & SE Xizang, E to Qamdo region) and adjacent N Nepal and N Sikkim.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 20 g. Nominate race is olive-brown with sandy-grey tinge above (slightly darker in W Himalayas), mantle and scapulars with faint darker streaking; long, broad creamy-... read more


    Song, from top of bush, tree or rock, only rarely in flight, fairly loud, low warble with trills,... read more


    In summer, found on open rocky or stony alpine and subalpine slopes, also in juniper (Juniperus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly invertebrates and seeds. Adult diet not studied in detail, but invertebrates dominate in summer; seeds, supplemented by small... read more


    Season Apr or May, depending on altitude, to Aug; double-brooded. Mating system apparently variable: polygyny, polyandry, monogamy and... read more


    Resident and local altitudinal migrant. Some descend below tree-line in winter months, but many... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and relatively common in suitable habitat through much of range. Scarce to locally common, with densities of 3–4 birds/km², in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hatchwell, B. (2020). Brown Accentor (Prunella fulvescens). 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 February 2020).