Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Brown Parrotbill (Cholornis unicolor)


French: Paradoxornis unicolore German: Einfarb-Papageimeise Spanish: Picoloro unicolor

H[eteromorpha]. unicolor


, 1843,

northern Nepal




C & E Nepal E in Himalayas to NE India (to E Arunachal Pradesh N of R Lohit), E part of N Myanmar, and S China (SE Xizang, NW Yunnan and C & SW Sichuan).

Descriptive notes

21 cm; male 32–39 g, female 31·5–32 g. Has forehead to crown dark brown-grey with darker feather centres (fading to nape), giving slight mottled appearance... read more


Sings with clear, loud, rather high “ii-wuu-iiew”, “ii wiu’uu” or... read more


Bamboo, in open broadleaf evergreen forest. Occurs at 2400–3050 m in Nepal and 2590–... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on bamboo and bracken (Dennstaedtiaceae) buds, moss and other vegetable matter, also beetles (Coleoptera) and other insects. Found in... read more


Season Jun–Aug. No other information.


Sedentary, but possibly subject to minor local movements in non-breeding season. Periodic movements... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally rather scarce, but locally not uncommon throughout its relatively limited Sino-Himalayan range. Rare in Bhutan; fairly common in parts of... read more

Recommended citation

Robson, C. (2020). Brown Parrotbill (Cholornis unicolor). 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 26 February 2020).