Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Sunda Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella montis)


French: Locustelle de Java German: Javaschwirl Spanish: Zarzalero de Java
Other common names: Sunda Bush-warbler, Javan Bush-warbler (montis), Timor Bush-warbler (timorensis)

Stasiasticus montis

E. J. O. Hartert

, 1896,

Mount Arjuno, 9000–10,000 feet [c. 2740–3050 m], east Java


Previously placed in Bradypterus. Race timorensis previously treated as a separate species, based on vocal differences#R which, with greater sampling, prove to be much less obvious#R; genetic difference also small#R. Birds of Alor speculated to represent an undescribed race, as song is higher-pitched and slightly faster-paced#R. Birds of Bali, presumed to be of this species, very similar in plumage and structure to those of Java, but also show some rather subtle vocal differences from latter; further study required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. m. montis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1896) – Javan Grasshopper-warbler – mountains of E & C Java (Mt Lawu E to Bromo) and Bali.
  • L. m. timorensis Mayr, 1944 – Timor Grasshopper-warbler – W Timor (Mt Mutis), E Timor, and Alor I#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; c. 14 g. A moderately large rusty-brown and grey, full-tailed bush-warbler. Has rather weak greyish-white supercilium palest just above eye, merging into grey ear-... read more


    Song, generally from low down in dense cover, a buzzy “zeeep”, like that of L.... read more


    Bushes and grassy growth at forest edge, cleared slopes with scattered Casuarina trees and... read more

    Food and feeding

    No specific information other than insects. Has general skulking behaviour of genus, but can be surprisingly showy at times; hops about... read more


    Singing reported in late Feb; adult seen with bill full of insects in late Jun assumed to be feeding young. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Restricted-range species: present in Java and Bali Forests EBA. Common and widespread on volcanic slopes of C & E Java; this species’ preference for higher... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Sunda Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella montis). 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 21 May 2019).