Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Short-tailed Parrotbill (Neosuthora davidiana)


French: Paradoxornis de David German: Kurzschwanz-Papageimeise Spanish: Picoloro de David

Suthora davidiana


, 1897,

Guadun, north Fujian, China


Racial identity of birds in extreme N Laos and extreme NW part of W Tonkin (N Vietnam) uncertain, but presumed to belong with thompsoni; likewise, birds in N (extreme E part) & C (NE part) Laos and neighbouring Vietnam (N Annam) presumed to belong with tonkinensis. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. d. thompsoni (Bingham, 1903) – S part of E Myanmar, NW & extreme N Laos, extreme NW Vietnam (extreme NW Tonkin) and SE part of NW & adjacent NE Thailand.
  • N. d. tonkinensis (Delacour, 1927) – NE & NC Laos and adjacent NC Vietnam (N Annam and E Tonkin).
  • N. d. davidiana (Slater, 1897) – S Hunan and N Guangdong, and also Zhejiang and N Fujian, in E China.
  • Descriptive notes

    9·5–10 cm; 8·5 g (S Hunan, in China). A tiny short-tailed parrotbill with jizz like that of a munia (Lonchura), and with very deep-based pale bill. Nominate... read more


    Song a very thin, high-pitched, rapid ascending series of 6–9 notes, “ih’ih’ih’ih’ih’ih” or “... read more


    Bamboo, grass, edge of broadleaf evergreen forest. Found at 50–1200 m in SE Asia; 110–... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on small larvae and vegetable matter. Found in fast-moving hyperactive flocks, sometimes quite large outside breeding season; often... read more


    Mar–Apr in Vietnam. Nest a cup-shaped structure made of green moss, grasses, cobwebs, and slender bamboo leaves etc., lined with... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Local status varies considerably, presumably depending on precise suitability of habitat. Locally common at certain Vietnamese and Chinese sites, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Robson, C. (2020). Short-tailed Parrotbill (Neosuthora davidiana). 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 February 2020).