Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Brown-winged Parrotbill (Sinosuthora brunnea)


French: Paradoxornis à ailes brunes German: Braunflügel-Papageimeise Spanish: Picoloro alipardo

Suthora brunnea

J. Anderson

, 1871,

Momien [= Tengchong], western Yunnan, China


Considered conspecific with S. webbiana (and S. alphonsiana) by some authors, but widely accepted treatment as separate species supported by differences in skeletal features of skull. Until recently considered conspecific with S. ricketti (which see). Ranges of nominate and styani meet at S end of Dali Valley, at least; latter may be result of secondary intergradation, but museum specimens appear uniform in plumage characters, suggesting that it is a valid race. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. b. brunnea (J. Anderson, 1871) – E (E part) & C (E part) Myanmar E to S China (W & NW Yunnan W of Lijiang Range and L Er Hai).
  • S. b. styani (Rippon, 1903) – Dali region, in NW Yunnan (S China).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 12–13 cm; male 8–13 g, female 6–10 g. Nominate race has bright chestnut crown to uppermost mantle and head-side, contrasting with warm dark brown... read more


    Keeps up a continuous twittering when feeding; no other information.


    Scrub and grass, thickets, sometimes in open forest or along forest edges; montane species, found... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on grass seeds, and presumably also insects; known to ingest some grit and sand. Outside breeding season occurs in pairs or fast-... read more


    Season Apr–Jun. Nest described as a rather deep, compact cup-shaped structure made from grasses, sometimes plastered with a little... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Yunnan Mountains EBA. Generally uncommon to fairly common in suitable habitat throughout its... read more

    Recommended citation

    Robson, C. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Brown-winged Parrotbill (Sinosuthora brunnea). 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 20 February 2020).