Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Olive-backed Tailorbird (Orthotomus sepium)


French: Couturière à dos vert German: Rostwangen-Schneidervogel Spanish: Sastrecillo de Java
Other common names: Javan Tailorbird

Orthotomus sepium


, 1821,



See O. ruficeps. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. s. sundaicus Hoogerwerf, 1962 – Panaitan I (W Java).
  • O. s. sepium Horsfield, 1821 – Java, Bali and Lombok.
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; c. 7 g. A rather short-tailed, grey tailorbird with relatively long bill slightly decurved towards tip, yellow undertail-coverts. Male has forehead, forecrown and side... read more


    Variety of single notes, rhythmically repeated for prolonged periods, “chu-chu-chu…”, or “turr-turr... read more


    Inland forests; favours secondary forest and forest edges, bamboo thickets, and bushy edges of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food small invertebrates, especially insects and their larvae. Forages both in pairs and in family parties, in undergrowth and in tree... read more


    No detailed information; presumably much as for O. ruficeps.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Relatively common at most wooded sites within its range. This species’ preference for bushy and secondary scrub should ensure its survival.

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Olive-backed Tailorbird (Orthotomus sepium). 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 26 August 2019).