Family Bush-warblers (Scotocercidae)

Least Concern

Hume's Bush-warbler (Horornis brunnescens)


French: Bouscarle de Hume German: Blassbauch-Seidensänger Spanish: Cetia del Himalaya

Horeites brunnescens

A. O. Hume

, 1872,

neighbourhood of Darjeeling, north-east India


Until recently considered conspecific with H. acanthizoides, but shown to be different#R by virtue of its brighter brown upperparts (1); paler, duller and whiter, less yellow underparts (1); similarly structured but strongly divergent song, with many fewer but longer notes in the first part (4) and a slow melodious trill vs a fast hammering tremolo in the second part (3). Monotypic.

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

Himalayas from N India (Uttarakhand) E to S China (SE Xizang).

Descriptive notes

11 cm. A smallish pale bush-warbler with rather long and very fine bill, and square-ended tail. Adult has forehead to nape warm brown, whitish supercilium from bill base back... read more


Song a greatly extended (c. 18 seconds) and highly distinctive, most unusual ditty consisting of... read more


Inhabits ringal bamboo, occasionally also other dense thickets, in or at edge of forest, including... read more

Food and feeding

Limited information. Food presumably invertebrates and their larvae. Forages low down in thick grassy vegetation or bamboo clumps.... read more


Season May–Jun. Nest a ball or deep cup of dry grasses, bamboo leaves, moss and spider webs, well lined with feathers, entrance near top,... read more


Poorly known; probably a short-distance altitudinal migrant, but few data. Has been recorded... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rather scarce and local in much of range, but frequent and relatively common in suitable habitat in Bhutan; perhaps very locally... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Hume's Bush-warbler (Horornis brunnescens). 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 16 January 2019).