Family Ground Babblers (Pellorneidae)


Swamp Grass-babbler (Laticilla cinerascens)


French: Laticille des marais German: Sumpfpriniendrossling Spanish: Prinia palustre
Other common names: Swamp Prinia

Eurycercus cinerascens


, 1874,

Dhubri, Lower Bengal, India


Forms a species pair with L. burnesii, but although songs are remarkably similar present species differs in its much thinner bill (at least 2); much shorter tail (71–79 mm vs 110–116 in males#R; allow 3); much weaker, more diffuse streaking on crown and mantle (2); greyish vs buffy colour in upperparts (2); grey vs rufous-chestnut undertail-coverts (3); and egg colour (slaty green vs greenish-white, both with profuse brown speckling; ns). Newly described race L. b. nepalicola appears to represent a partial link to present species, but is little known; further research may result in reunification with L. cinerascens. Monotypic.


Floodplains of R Brahmaputra in NE India.

Descriptive notes

17 cm; c. 19 g. A relatively large, greyish and white, long-tailed prinia. Adult has a whitish spot on lores and narrow whitish eyering; most of head and upperparts olive-... read more


Song an attractive rich, mellow, warbling phrase interspersed with short trills and silvery... read more


Low-lying grassy riverine plains with extensive “elephant grass” plant communities,... read more

Food and feeding

No information on diet other than insects. Forages in pairs or in family parties, on or near ground. Keeps well hidden low in grassy... read more


Breeds during Apr and May, perhaps later. Nest a deep cup of coarse grasses, lined with finer grasses, well concealed towards base of a... read more


Resident, as far as is known.

Status and conservation

Not assessed. When lumped with L. burnesii, considered Near-­threatened; as a separate species, seems likely to qualify for red-listing. Few recent published... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2019). Swamp Grass-babbler (Laticilla cinerascens). 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 18 April 2019).