Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris)


French: Mégalure des marais German: Strichelkopfsänger Spanish: Yerbera palustre

Megalurus palustris


, 1821,



Allocation of populations to races complicated by individual variation, marked difference in size between the sexes, and varying intensity of yellow and buff tones according to plumage wear. Proposed race andrewsi (Myanmar–China border) included in toklao. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. p. toklao (Blyth, 1843) – NE Pakistan (E Punjab) E across India and S Nepal to NE India (Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, S Arunachal Pradesh), Myanmar, S China (Yunnan, S Guizhou, Guangxi), SE Thailand, Cambodia, N Laos and N, C & S Vietnam.
  • M. p. forbesi Bangs, 1919 – Philippines and N Borneo.
  • M. p. palustris Horsfield, 1821 – Java and Bali.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–28 cm (male up to 12% larger than female); 38–56 g. A large and conspicuous warbler with long graduated tail, rectrices tapered to tips. Nominate race has... read more


    A subdued whistle followed by loud “wheeechoo”, given from just below tops of tallest... read more


    Favours open marshland and wet grassland, with stands of reeds, reedmace (Typha) and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on small invertebrates, including spiders (Araneae), and a wide variety of insects and their larvae. Generally found alone or in... read more


    Reported chiefly at start of rainy season, between Apr and Jul, in Indian Subcontinent; in Philippines at various times throughout year,... read more


    Chiefly resident. Occurrence of individuals well away from normal haunts, e.g. in NW Pakistan (... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to rare. At W limit of range, in Pakistan, rare and extremely localized in NE Punjab; in 1998, at least three individuals reported... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Striated Grassbird (Megalurus palustris). 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 24 May 2019).