Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis)


French: Couturière à col noir German: Dunkelkehl-Schneidervogel Spanish: Sastrecillo cuellinegro
Other common names: Black-necked Tailorbird

Orthotomus atrogularis


, 1836,

Malacca, Malaysia


Has been treated as conspecific with O. castaneiceps and O. frontalis, but differs in vocalizations and genetically#R. Purported relationship to O. sutorius also refuted by molecular data#R. Rather dark and richly coloured birds in N Vietnam (E Tonkin, N Annam) may represent an undescribed race. Race major previously listed under replacement name anambensis, but that name not required, as potential senior homonym had already been transferred to Prinia, as P. erythroptera major#R (see that species). Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. a. nitidus A. O. Hume, 1874 – NE India (from Jalpaiguri, in West Bengal, E to Assam S of Brahmaputra, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland), E Bangladesh (Chittagong Hills), also Myanmar (except W), extreme S China (S Yunnan), throughout Thailand (except S), Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
  • O. a. atrogularis Temminck, 1836 – Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo (except NE).
  • O. a. major Chasen & Kloss, 1928 – Tioman I (off E Peninsular Malaysia), and Anambas Is and N Natuna Is.
  • O. a. humphreysi Chasen & Kloss, 1929 – NE Borneo.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 7·5 g. A typical tailorbird, with relatively long and slightly decurved bill, but with black breastband. Male nominate race breeding has rufous crown... read more


    Song a rather high, almost agitated and shivery “pirra, pirra, pirra…” rapidly... read more


    Forests of a variety of types, including broadleaf evergreen, semi-evergreen or mixed deciduous,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food almost entirely insects and other tiny invertebrates. Typically in pairs, foraging within dense cover; generally keeps low in... read more


    Season Mar–Aug in NE India and Feb–Sept in SE Asia, coinciding with wet season. Nest a deep pouch of fine fresh grasses and... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common throughout most of its wide range; scarce and very local in NE India, where no recent records from West Bengal. In Myanmar... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis). 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 17 September 2019).