Family Bush-warblers (Scotocercidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-headed Tesia (Cettia castaneocoronata)


French: Bouscarle à tête marron German: Rotkopftesia Spanish: Cetia cabecicastaña

Sylvia? castaneo-coronata

E. Burton

, 1836,

no locality = Nepal


Previously placed in Oligura (see C. major), and often included in Tesia; genetic data#R, however, place it clearly within present genus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. castaneocoronata (E. Burton, 1836) – Himalayas from N India (Himachal Pradesh) and Nepal E to E Bangladesh, Myanmar (except C & S), S China (SE Xizang, Sichuan, Guizhou, W Guangxi), NW Thailand and N Laos.
  • C. c. ripleyi (Deignan, 1951) – S China (Yunnan).
  • C. c. abadiei (Delacour & Jabouille, 1930) – N Vietnam (NW Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    8–9·5 cm; 8–10 g. Small, upright and almost tailless ground-loving warbler with dark upperparts and bright yellow underparts. Nominate race has chestnut head,... read more


    Has sharp and explosive “whit” or sharper “tit” call notes, often repeated as short intermittent... read more


    Undergrowth of broadleaf forest and mixed broadleaf and conifer forest, also bamboo; prefers dense... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items not well known; mostly spiders (Araneae), other invertebrates and their larvae. Usually alone or in pairs. Actively forages on... read more


    Not well known. Season Apr–Jul. Male displays in upper bush to female lower in same bush, holds wings drooped, bill pointing upwards... read more


    Altitudinal migrant. Winter visitor to N Assam. Vagrant in Bangladesh.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and fairly common in Nepal, N India (scarce in Himachal Pradesh) and Bhutan; uncommon in N Myanmar, NW Thailand, N Laos and N Vietnam.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Chestnut-headed Tesia (Cettia castaneocoronata). 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 15 February 2019).