Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens)


French: Prinia roussâtre German: Rostprinie Spanish: Prinia rojiza

Pr[inia]. rufescens


, 1847,

Arakan, Myanmar


Most closely related to P. hodgsonii, which shares its habit of sewing nest into leaves, but the two are vocally and morphologically quite distinct. True differences between races confused by seasonal variation; taxonomic revision required. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. r. rufescens Blyth, 1847 – E & NE India (from Sikkim and adjacent N West Bengal E to Arunachal Pradesh, and from Meghalaya E to Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram; also Simlipal Hills in NE Odisha and Alluri Sitaramaraju Forest in N Andhra Pradesh), Bhutan, C & E Bangladesh, S China (SE Xizang, W & S Yunnan, SW Guangxi) and N, W & C Myanmar.
  • P. r. beavani Walden, 1867 – SE Myanmar and Thailand (except SE and peninsula) E to N & C Laos and N Vietnam (Tonkin).
  • P. r. peninsularis Deignan, 1942 – extreme S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and S Thailand.
  • P. r. extrema Deignan, 1942 – extreme S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • P. r. objurgans Deignan, 1942 – SE Thailand and S Cambodia.
  • P. r. dalatensis (Riley, 1940) – SC & S Vietnam.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 6–7 g. A rather contrastingly patterned small prinia with moderately long, graduated tail; unlike many congeners, appears to have two complete moults... read more


    Song a rhythmic “ti’chew, ti’chew, ti’chew, ti’chew, ti’chew... read more


    Favours grassy areas in open forest, but occupies wide range of bushy and grassy habitats, from... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly insects and their larvae, gleaned from leaves and on the ground. Usually forages in parties of up to 12–15 individuals... read more


    Season Jan–Sept across range; in India, nesting recorded Apr–Sept but concentrated in May and Jun at onset of wet season. Nest... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common over most of its range. In India, status of seemingly isolated population in Orissa in need of clarification; a record also from... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens). 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 17 September 2019).