Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Pallas's Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella certhiola)


French: Locustelle de Pallas German: Streifenschwirl Spanish: Buscarla de Pallas
Other common names: Rusty-rumped Warbler

Motacilla Certhiola


, 1811,

mountainous region between Onon and Borzya in eastern Transbaikalia


Has been considered conspecific with either or both of L. ochotensis and L. pleskei (see both, below). Race sparsimstriata intergrades with nominate in S Siberia (L Baikal area). Birds of Amurland (SE Siberia and NE China) sometimes separated as race minor#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. c. rubescens Blyth, 1845 – Siberia from R Irtysh E to Kolyma Basin and Sea of Okhotsk; non-breeding S & SE Asia.
  • L. c. sparsimstriata Meise, 1934 – S Siberia from Tomsk and Novosibirsk E to L Baikal area, S to N Altai Mts and N Mongolia; non-breeding probably S & SE Asia.
  • L. c. certhiola (Pallas, 1811) – Transbaikalia E to SE Siberia (S of Okhotsk coast) and NE China (E from Da Hinggan Mts); non-breeding SE Asia.
  • L. c. centralasiae Sushkin, 1925 – E Kazakhstan (L Zaysan S to Dzhungarskiy Alatau), NE Kyrgyzstan (Karkara) and Russian and Gobian Altai S to N China (S to E Tien Shan, Qaidam Basin and Ordos Plateau); non-breeding probably India E to Myanmar.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 13–18 g (up to 22 g before migration). A streaked Locustella with whitish tips of tail feathers. Nominate race is warm olive-brown above,... read more


    Song, from exposed bush or plant stem or in flight, consists of a quiet, varied high-pitched... read more


    Breeds in tall or tussocky grass of riverbanks, valley meadows, moist taiga woodland and shrubby... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects; occasional vegetable material. Forages low down, typically with horizontal posture; creeps and runs mouse-like through and under... read more


    Laying late Jun to early Jul in Siberia, and first half of Jun in Amur Valley. Territorial; male has brief song flight, rising to c. 10 m... read more


    Long-distance migrant, wintering in S & SE Asia. Race rubescens migrates mainly to NE... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common within much of wide Asian range; rather uncommon in China. No data on population levels; probably quite numerous in suitable habitat,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Pearson, D. (2019). Pallas's Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella certhiola). 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 25 May 2019).