Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Red-fronted Prinia (Prinia rufifrons)


French: Prinia de Rüppell German: Rotstirnprinie Spanish: Prinia frentirroja
Other common names: Red-fronted Warbler, Red-faced Prinia, Red-faced Apalis

Prinia rufifrons


, 1840,



Variously treated in Apalis, Spiloptila or Urorhipis, but genetic data place it in Prinia#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. r. rufifrons (Rüppell, 1840) – E Chad, WC, C & E Sudan, Eritrea, NE Ethiopia, Djibouti and NW Somalia.
  • P. r. smithi (Sharpe, 1895) – SE South Sudan, S Ethiopia (S of 12° N#R), Somalia (except NW), extreme NE Uganda, Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • P. r. rufidorsalis (Sharpe, 1897) – Tsavo, in SE Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; 5–8 g. A small, rather prinia-like warbler with very long, graduated tail (of twelve feathers) which is often wagged and rotated. Male nominate race has... read more


    Song a series of “stiuck stiuck stiuck” notes, interspersed with “cheep”... read more


    Arid and semi-arid scrub and savanna, typically in areas with less than 500 mm of rainfall annually... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly small insects, including ants (Hymenoptera). Occurs singly, in pairs or, outside breeding season, in groups of up to 15... read more


    Mainly Feb–Jun, occasionally Dec–Aug; possibly double-brooded. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Nest oval, with side... read more


    Little known; presumably mostly resident. Apparent rarity in E Chad may reflect occasional movement. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common in most of range. Uncommon to scarce in W, and apparently rare in Chad.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Red-fronted Prinia (Prinia rufifrons). 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 20 September 2019).