Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Jungle Prinia (Prinia sylvatica)


French: Prinia forestière German: Dschungelprinie Spanish: Prinia selvática

Prinia sylvatica


, 1840,

Seegore Ghat, Nilgiri Hills, south India


N race gangetica intergrades with nominate in C India. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. gangetica (Blyth, 1867) – N India (W Himachal Pradesh S to C Rajasthan and C Madhya Pradesh, E to West Bengal) and SW Nepal.
  • P. s. insignis (A. O. Hume, 1872) – NW India (Gujarat and S Rajasthan E to Bhopal, in W Madhya Pradesh).
  • P. s. sylvatica Jerdon, 1840 – C & S India (S from S Bombay, Maharashtra and C Madhya Pradesh).
  • P. s. mahendrae Koelz, 1939 – Mahendra Giri (Odisha), in E India.
  • P. s. valida (Blyth, 1851) – Sri Lanka.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; 14–21 g, mean 16 g. A large lowland brown prinia with very long and graduated tail, marked sexual size dimorphism. Nominate race non-breeding has white... read more


    Song, from exposed perch, a warbled phrase repeated over and over in pulsing rhythm for c. 2–... read more


    Favours dry scrubby bush-jungle, with boulders and grassland intermixed; boulder-strewn hillsides... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes variety of small invertebrates, chiefly insects and their larvae; recorded items include small spiders (Araneae), grasshoppers (... read more


    Season Mar–Oct, chiefly during Jun–Sept monsoon; has bred in most months but mainly Feb–May in Sri Lanka; two or more... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally quite common in India, especially in dry forests and hills of C & S of the country; uncommon and very localized in Sri Lanka; in Nepal,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Jungle Prinia (Prinia sylvatica). 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 6 December 2019).