Family Bush-warblers (Scotocercidae)

Least Concern

Grey-sided Bush-warbler (Cettia brunnifrons)


French: Bouscarle à couronne brune German: Himalajaseidensänger Spanish: Cetia capirotada

Prinia brunnifrons


, 1845,



See C. major. Race whistleri intergrades with nominate in N India (Uttarakhand); variation throughout range may be clinal, and species sometimes treated as monotypic. Birds from NE India described as race muroides, but appear inseparable from umbratica. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. b. whistleri (Ticehurst, 1923) – NW Himalayas from N Pakistan (Kaghan Valley) and Kashmir E to N India (Uttarakhand).
  • C. b. brunnifrons (Hodgson, 1845) – Himalayas from N India (Uttarakhand) E to Bhutan and S China (SE Xizang).
  • C. b. umbratica (E. C. S. Baker, 1924) – NE India (Arunachal Pradesh), S China (SE Tibet, W Sichuan, NW Yunnan) and N Myanmar.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; male 8–9 g, female 6–9 g. Small, slender-looking bush-warbler with small bill, long pale supercilium well defined in front of eye. Nominate race... read more


    Song, from top of bush or rock, mid-Apr to early Aug and again in Sept–Oct, a loud, wheezing... read more


    Breeds in undergrowth and rhododendron (Rhododendron) shrubberies at edges of evergreen... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not well studied; includes small invertebrates, mainly spiders (Araneae) and larvae. Forages on the ground or in low bushes and... read more


    Rather poorly known. Season Apr–Aug. Nest is an oval ball or cup-shaped, consisting mostly of grasses, moss, lichens and feathers,... read more


    Altitudinal migrant; post-breeding descent to lower elevations. Recently recorded in NE Bangladesh... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread in Nepal; common in India and Bhutan; uncommon in N Myanmar. Reasonably common in China. Present in several national parks.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Grey-sided Bush-warbler (Cettia brunnifrons). 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 22 January 2019).