Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Grey-headed Parrotbill (Psittiparus gularis)


French: Paradoxornis à tête grise German: Graukopf-Papageimeise Spanish: Picoloro cabecigrís

Paradoxornis gularis

G. R. Gray

, 1845,

no locality = Bhutan


Formerly considered conspecific with P. margaritae. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. g. gularis (G. R. Gray, 1845) – Himalayas and foothills from N India (Sikkim and extreme N West Bengal) E through Bhutan to W Arunachal Pradesh (NE India).
  • P. g. transfluvialis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1900) – C & E Arunachal Pradesh (E from Dafla Hills), S through hills of NE India (except Meghalaya) to Mizoram and Manipur, and E to W (N Chin Hills), N & E Myanmar, extreme S China (W & NW Yunnan) and NW Thailand.
  • P. g. rasus Stresemann, 1940 – S Chin Hills (Mt Victoria), in W Myanmar.
  • P. g. laotianus Delacour, 1926 – extreme E Myanmar (E of R Salween), S China (S Yunnan, SW Guangxi), E part of NW Thailand (Khun Tan Range etc.), Laos and Vietnam (W & E Tonkin, N & C Annam).
  • P. g. fokiensis (David, 1874) – C & E China from SC & SE Sichuan E to N Jiangxi, SE Anhui and Zhejiang, S to Guangxi and Guangdong.
  • P. g. hainanus Rothschild, 1903 – Hainan, in S China.
  • Descriptive notes

    15·5–18·5 cm; male 27–30 g, female 30·5–34 g, male to 37 g and female to 35 g (fokiensis), female 26–28 g (hainanus). Nominate race... read more


    Song of races transfluvialis and laotianus of two types, one a clear loud, quite... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, secondary growth, scrub bordering forest, also bamboo, grass and scrub... read more

    Food and feeding

    Vegetable matter, including chestnuts, buds, seeds; also insects and their larvae. Found in parties mostly of 6–8 individuals,... read more


    Feb–Jul. Nest a beautiful, very neat, compact cup-shaped structure, sometimes with broad, bulging sides, made from grasses, strips of... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very widespread, but generally uncommon to fairly common throughout much of its range.

    Recommended citation

    Robson, C. (2020). Grey-headed Parrotbill (Psittiparus gularis). 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 February 2020).