Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)

Near Threatened

Rufous-vented Grass-babbler (Laticilla burnesii)


French: Laticille de Burnes German: Schweifpriniendrossling Spanish: Prinia de Burnes
Other common names: Rufous-vented Prinia, Long-tailed Grass-babbler (when treated as conspecific with L. cinerascens)

Eu[rycercus]. Burnesii


, 1844,

Sind, Pakistan


Formerly considered conspecific with L. cinerascens. Race nepalicola first described (in Prinia) as nipalensis, a name preoccupied within Prinia and unavailable even when species is transferred to Laticilla#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. b. burnesii#R (Blyth, 1844) – Pakistan (plains of R Indus and its tributaries S from S parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab) and adjacent NW India (riversides of W Punjab, sporadicallly E to Delhi).
  • L. b. nepalicola #R Baral et al., 2008 – E Nepal (Koshi Tappu#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    17 cm; c. 19 g. A relatively large prinia with very long and strongly graduated tail, outermost rectrices only one third length of central pair. Male has dark brown streaking... read more


    Song, chiefly in evening, a loud, rich clear warbling phrase of c. 2–4 seconds in duration,... read more


    Low-lying grassy riverine plains with scattered trees and shrubs, especially acacia (Acacia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food insects; no precise details. Keeps well hidden, feeding on or near ground in pairs or family parties. Spends most of time low in... read more


    Breeds Feb–Sept, chiefly during wet season. Nest, seemingly built by female alone, a deep cup of coarse grasses, lined with vegetable... read more


    Generally resident; post-breeding dispersal takes individuals into parts of NW India where normally... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. When lumped with L. cinerascens, considered Near-­threatened; as a separate species, seems likely to qualify for the same category, but perhaps no... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Rufous-vented Grass-babbler (Laticilla burnesii). 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 April 2019).