Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Striated Prinia (Prinia crinigera)


French: Prinia crinigère German: Bergprinie Spanish: Prinia estriada

[Pomatorhinus?] Prinia? criniger, Suya criniger


, 1836,



Forms a species pair with P. polychroa; long considered conspecific, and the two are vocally very similar, but they differ in habitat and altitude preferences, as well as in breeding plumages, and more or less replace each other geographically. Race parumstriata intergrades with catharia in Sichuan (C China). Dark birds from Meghalaya (NE India) described as race assamica, currently merged with catharia, but this race may be valid and range may also include Myanmar; birds of N & W Yunnan (SC China) sometimes separated as race yunnanensis, but herein also included in catharia. Species name is a Latin adjective and must agree with current genus name. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. striatula (A. O. Hume, 1873) – E Afghanistan (Jalalabad and Nuristan) and hills of W Pakistan (Salt Range S to SE Baluchistan).
  • P. c. crinigera Hodgson, 1836 – Himalayas from N Pakistan (Murree Hills) E to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh).
  • P. c. catharia Reichenow, 1908 – NE India (S & E Assam, Nagaland, Manipur), N & W Myanmar and S & C China (N & W Yunnan, S Shaanxi, SW Sichuan, Hunan, Guizhou).
  • P. c. parvirostris (La Touche, 1922) – SE Yunnan (S China).
  • P. c. parumstriata (David & Oustalet, 1877) – SE & C China from S Jiangsu and Anhui S to Guangxi and Guangdong, W in Yangtze Valley to N Hunan and Red Basin of Sichuan.
  • P. c. striata Swinhoe, 1859 – Taiwan.
  • Descriptive notes

    16 cm; 14–17 g. A large, strong-billed drab prinia with long, strongly graduated, pointed tail; distinct non-breeding and breeding plumages, the latter created... read more


    Song a jaunty, rhythmic wheezy or rasping phrase, repeated quickly three or four times, may be... read more


    Open grassy hillsides and mountainsides with scattered shrubs, especially Berberis; also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food invertebrates, especially insects and their larvae. Normally shy and retiring, typically alone or in pairs, foraging on or near ground... read more


    Season May–Oct, most laying in May or Jul and Aug, during wet season. Has undulating song flight. Nest constructed by both sexes,... read more


    Generally considered resident; also an altitudinal migrant, many making post-breeding descent to... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally numerous throughout most of its extensive range; rare and little known at W limit of range, in Afghanistan, where only a handful of records,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Striated Prinia (Prinia crinigera). 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 19 September 2019).