Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Pale-billed Parrotbill (Chleuasicus atrosuperciliaris)


French: Paradoxornis à sourcils noirs German: Schwarzbrauen-Papageimeise Spanish: Picoloro cejinegro
Other common names: Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill

Chleuasicus atrosuperciliaris


, 1877,

Sadiya, Assam, north-east India


Racial identity of birds in W Arunachal Pradesh (W of R Dihang), in NE India, uncertain, presumed to belong with oatesi. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. oatesi (Sharpe, 1903) – NE India (Sikkim, N West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh W of R Dihang) and Bhutan.
  • C. a. atrosuperciliaris Godwin-Austen, 1877 – NE India (E Arunachal Pradesh E of R Dihang, S to Nagaland, S Assam, extreme E Meghalaya and Mizoram) E to N Myanmar and adjacent S China (W Yunnan), disjunctly also in E part of S Myanmar and NW Thailand, and N (E part) & C (NE part) Laos and extreme N Vietnam (N parts of W & E Tonkin).
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm. Distinctive parrot­bill with noticeably peaked crown and rather short, deep-based bill. Nominate race has forehead to nape bright rufous (forehead buffier above... read more


    Possible songs are series of sharp chipping notes, rapidly repeated at varying speeds, after... read more


    Bamboo in or near broadleaf evergreen forest, forest edge, tall grass. Found in relatively wide... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on small seeds, also insects and their pupae, including small beetles (Coleoptera) and grasshoppers (Orthoptera), and spiders (... read more


    Season Apr–Jul in India. Nest a deep cup-shaped structure made from fine shreds of grass, whitish bark, broad pieces of bamboo leaves... read more


    Sedentary, so far as is known; does, however, have strong dependence on bamboo, and could be... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally rather uncommon throughout much of its rather restricted and patchy range; fairly common at some scattered sites.

    Recommended citation

    Robson, C. (2020). Pale-billed Parrotbill (Chleuasicus atrosuperciliaris). 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 23 February 2020).