Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Near Threatened

Sri Lanka Warbler (Elaphrornis palliseri)


French: Mégalure de Ceylan German: Ceylonbuschsänger Spanish: Zarzalero de Ceilán
Other common names: Sri Lanka Bush-warbler

Brachypteryx? palliseri


, 1851,

Sri Lanka


Has sometimes been placed in Bradypterus; appears to be closely related to that genus, but differs in structure (relatively shorter-tailed and longer-billed), plumage (unmarked) and song. Has not been studied genetically. Monotypic.


Hills of wet zone in SC Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

15–16 cm; 9–14 g. A dull plump warbler with slender bill, and long and slender legs. Male is almost uniformly olive-brown above, washed rufous on rump and... read more


Song, from tall grasses, rather short, lively and squeaky, easily overlooked, has been rendered as... read more


Grassy hollows and margins, preferably with bamboo and Strobilanthes intermixed, to wet... read more

Food and feeding

Food invertebrates, especially soft-bodied larval stages; includes e.g. small spiders (Araneae), caterpillars, small worms, and is... read more


Chiefly Mar–May and often again in Aug–Sept, coinciding with the two rainy periods of year; probably double-brooded. Nest a... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sri Lanka EBA. Locally not uncommon. Population level particularly... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2019). Sri Lanka Warbler (Elaphrornis palliseri). 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 April 2019).