Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Hill Prinia (Prinia superciliaris)


French: Prinia à sourcils German: Grauwangenprinie Spanish: Prinia montana

Saya [sic] superciliaris

J. Anderson

, 1871,

Tengchong, Yunnan, altitude c. 5000 feet [c. 1525 m]


Commonly treated as conspecific with P. atrogularis (with khasiana), but differs in its whitish-buff vs black chin to upper belly, thus also losing the distinctive white submoustachial line (4); more extensive white supercilium (1); bright buff vs dull buffy-grey flanks (2); less extensively grey ear-coverts (ns[1]); somewhat divergent song, albeit not as much as published report#R suggests (allow 1)#R. Sumatran form previously listed as albogularis, but this name preoccupied by a race of P. hodgsonii. Five subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. superciliaris (J. Anderson, 1871) – NE India (NE S Assam and perhaps NE Arunachal Pradesh), NE Myanmar, S & SE China (S Sichuan, Yunnan, N Guangxi and N Guangdong E to C Fujian), NE Thailand, N Laos and N Vietnam (W & E Tonkin).
  • P. s. erythropleura (Walden, 1875) – E Myanmar and NW Thailand.
  • P. s. klossi (Hachisuka, 1926) – S Laos (chiefly on Bolovens Plateau) and C Vietnam (C & S Annam, N Cochinchina).
  • P. s. waterstradti (E. J. O. Hartert, 1902) – summit of Mt Tahan, in Peninsular Malaysia.
  • P. s. dysancrita (Oberholser, 1912) – W Sumatra.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–20·5 cm. A large prinia with rather slender, slightly decurved bill and very long graduated, pointed tail. Distinguished from very similar P. crinigera by... read more


    Song (nominate race) is a sharp, clear and strident disyllabic “schlee-ulp” or “cho-ee”, or a more... read more


    In general, the species occupies scrub, clearings, cultivated and grassy areas, and undergrowth in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet chiefly insects and their larvae. Usually encountered singly or in pairs, and typically very skulking, but forages also in noisy... read more


    Seemingly very few data have been published, but most aspects of the breeding biology are presumably similar to those of formerly... read more


    Generally considered resident, but a degree of altitudinal migration, particularly over N parts of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to locally common over most of its extensive range; presence in Cambodia has yet to be confirmed. Population of race ... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Hill Prinia (Prinia superciliaris). 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 19 September 2019).