Family Bush-warblers (Scotocercidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-crowned Bush-warbler (Cettia major)


French: Grande Bouscarle German: Rhododendronseidensänger Spanish: Cetia grande
Other common names: Large Bush-warbler

Horeites major

F. Moore

, 1854,



Along with C. brunnifrons and C. castaneocoronata sometimes placed in Oligura. In past, validity of race vafra sometimes questioned, but plumage differences appear distinct enough. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. m. major (F. Moore, 1854) – Himalayas from N India (Uttarakhand) E to C & S China (E Qinghai, SE Xizang, Sichuan, NW Yunnan).
  • C. m. vafra (Koelz, 1954) – NE India (Assam).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 9·7 g. A medium-sized to large bush-warbler with distinctive chestnut crown. Nominate race has fairly long super­cilium warm buff or rufous-buff (and... read more


    Song a short introductory whistle followed by a rapid, shrill warble of 3–4 notes, “i i... read more


    Undergrowth, ground vegetation and thorn-scrub in high-altitude fir forests; shows preference for... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not well known; largely presumed to be small invertebrates and larvae. Secretive, shy and mouse-like in habits. Forages low down or on... read more


    No certain information. Season presumably Jun–Aug. Nest supposed to be of this species described as globular, made from grass and... read more


    Altitudinal migrant, descending to lower elevations after breeding season. Occasional longer... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon; not well known. Rare in Nepal; occurs in Royal Chitwan National Park. Local in NE Indian Himalayas; uncommon in Bhutan and China... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Chestnut-crowned Bush-warbler (Cettia major). 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 April 2019).