Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-tailed Babbler (Moupinia poecilotis)


French: Moupinie à couronne rousse German: Rostschwanz-Grasmücke Spanish: Timalí colirrufo

Alcippe pœcilotis

J. P. Verreaux

, 1871,

#R, “les montagnes du Thibet chinois” = Muping [Paohing], south-east Xizang, China


Birds from NW Yunnan sometimes recognized as race sordidior. Monotypic.


S Gansu, Sichuan and NW Yunnan, in S China.

Descriptive notes

15 cm. Small babbler, brown above, whitish to buff below, with rusty wings and long tail, short bill with decurved upper mandible. Crown, nape and upper back are dull mid-... read more


Song, given with throat puffed out, a clear, quickly delivered “phu pwiii” (sounding... read more


Grass, thickets near streams, scrubby hillsides, at 1500–3300 m, occasionally to 3700 m.

Food and feeding

Invertebrates. Rather sluggish when foraging, usually in very dense undergrowth 2–3 m above ground. Will sit up in the open.


Jun–Jul. Nest described as a cup made of leaves, twigs and bark, lined with wool and grass, placed 0·3 m above ground in small... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common. A relatively poorly known species.

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2020). Rufous-tailed Babbler (Moupinia poecilotis). 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 22 February 2020).