Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

River Prinia (Prinia fluviatilis)


French: Prinia aquatique German: Flussprinie Spanish: Prinia fluvial

Prinia fluviatilis


, 1974,

N’Djamena, Chad


See P. inornata. In small samples, birds from Chad had shorter tarsus (17 mm) than birds from Senegal (18–20), but uncertain whether this is of any taxonomic significance. Monotypic.


SW Mauritania and W Senegambia E very locally (mainly on R Niger and around L Chad) to W Chad; also NW Kenya (Lokichokio)#R.

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm; c. 8 g. A small, slender unstreaked prinia with fairly long, graduated tail. In breeding plumage, has white supercilium contrasting with blackish-brown lores... read more


Song, from quite exposed perch 1–3 m up (usually above water), also low down in vegetation,... read more


Restricted to Sahel biome; occurs in swamp vegetation near permanent waters, including reeds (but... read more

Food and feeding

Diet insects. Forages by gleaning and occasionally fluttering down to catch prey, but not observed to hawk insects or hover-glean. In NW... read more


Breeds in Aug–Nov in Senegal. Solitary, but two active nests found 5 m apart in Gambia; usually strongly territorial. Nest a deep... read more


Little known; presumably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common at several sites, especially along R Niger in E Mali and SW Niger, and around L Chad. Recently observed at Lokichokio, in NW Kenya,... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). River Prinia (Prinia fluviatilis). 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 August 2019).