Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Near Threatened

Indian Grass-babbler (Graminicola bengalensis)


French: Grande Graminicole German: Indiengrasdrossling Spanish: Yerbera bengalí
Other common names: Rufous-rumped Grassbird

Graminicola Bengalensis


, 1863,

Cachar, India


Until recently considered conspecific with G. striatus (which see); phenotypically the two are very close. Monotypic.


N & NE India (NC Uttar Pradesh E to Assam and Manipur) and adjacent S Nepal and NE Bangladesh.

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; 13–16·5 g. A boldly marked grass-babbler with broad graduated tail only moderately tapered. Adult in fresh plumage has crown streaked reddish... read more


Song, delivered from near top of tall grasses or in short flight (up to 3 m above vegetation),... read more


Lowland wet grassland, reed-swamp and other emergent vegetation by canals, rivers and lakes, in... read more

Food and feeding

Food small invertebrates, but no published details other than “insects”. Usually encountered singly or in pairs. Keeps well hidden, and... read more


Breeds during wet season, in Jul and Aug (to coincide with monsoon), in India. In short song flight, suddenly rises into air and drops back... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered (Near Threatened. Common to rare; very local. In recent decades has undergone dramatic decline over most of range. In N India it... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Indian Grass-babbler (Graminicola bengalensis). 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 10 December 2019).