Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)


Chinese Grass-babbler (Graminicola striatus)


French: Graminicole de Chine German: Chinagrasdrossling Spanish: Yerbera china

Graminicola striata


, 1892,



Until recently considered conspecific with G. bengalensis but suggested to be a separate species on basis of multiple characters including genetics#R; this provisionally accepted here but no characters strong, involving less obvious white supercilium (1); broader, more ochreish streaking on crown and upperparts (1); narrower pale tips to rectrices (1); deeper bill (effect size 2.3 for sexes combined, on published data#R, score 2); and (based on very few recordings; acceptance of evidence precautionary, and wider sampling may reveal greater overlap) less hesitant song, with less inflected final notes (1) and higher minimum frequency (1); plus possible absence of song-flight (never yet observed#R, but more study needed to confirm this; ns). Race sinicus, accepted in HBW, here treated as synonym of striatus#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Very localized in CE Myanmar (L Inle) and CW Cambodia (near Bakan in Pursat Province)#R. Also NE Vietnam (E Tonkin) and SE China (regularly only in Hong Kong, but recorded also in adjacent Guangdong, N Guangxi and S Guizhou). Formerly SE Myanmar (Tenasserim) and C Thailand.

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm. A well-marked grass-babbler with broad graduated tail only moderately tapered. Adult in fresh plumage has crown streaked brownish ochre and black (becoming almost... read more


Poorly known, and very few recordings. Several different vocalizations known: territorial, display... read more


Tall wet grassland (0·8–1·3 m high), reed-swamp and other emergent vegetation by wetlands; also in... read more

Food and feeding

Little-known. Food small invertebrates including butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), shield bugs (Hemiptera), stick insects (Phasmida),... read more


In Hong Kong, season is generally believed to be late Mar to early Sept, with records of fledged young between May and Jul. Just one nest... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Rare. This species, until recently considered a race of G. bengalensis, currently exists as a very small number of localized and geographically well-... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Chinese Grass-babbler (Graminicola striatus). 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 25 May 2019).