Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Tawny Grassbird (Cincloramphus timoriensis)


Taxonomy

French: Mégalure fauve German: Rostkopf-Schilfsänger Spanish: Yerbera leonada
Taxonomy:

Megalurus timoriensis

Wallace

, 1864,

Timor, Lesser Sundas

.

Previously placed in Megalurus. Traditionally treated as conspecific with C. macrurus, but no apparent mixed pairings where they meet in SC New Guinea. Philippine races relatively larger in size and have longer tail, may form a third species, arguably with closer affinity to C. macrurus than to present species; smaller Australo-Papuan races (alisteri, muscalis) may be more different bioacoustically from C. timoriensis than Philippine ones#R. Taxonomic status of some island taxa poorly known, as several were described from few or poor specimens, and situation further complicated by two rather different-looking specimens from Timor; present arrangement tentative, and additional research required. Birds from E Australia (SE Queensland, E New South Wales) described as race oweni, but included in alisteri. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. t. tweeddalei (McGregor, 1908) – Philippine Tawny Grassbird – N & C Philippines (Luzon, Samar, Negros, Panay and adjacent small islands).
  • C. t. mindorensis (Salomonsen, 1953) – NW Philippines (Mindoro).
  • C. t. alopex (Parkes, 1970) – C Philippines (Cebu, Leyte, Bohol).
  • C. t. crex (Salomonsen, 1953) – S Philippines (Mindanao, Basilan).
  • C. t. celebensis (Riley, 1919) – Sulawesi.
  • C. t. amboinensis (Salvadori, 1876) – Ambon, in S Moluccas.
  • C. t. inquirendus (Siebers, 1928) – Sumba, in Lesser Sundas.
  • C. t. timoriensis (Wallace, 1864) – Wallacean Tawny Grassbird – Timor.
  • C. t. muscalis (Rand, 1938) – S New Guinea (Fly R area).
  • C. t. alisteri (Mathews, 1912) – Australian Tawny Grassbird – N & E Australia, from NE Western Australia (Kimberleys) and N Northern Territory E to N & E Queensland, thence S in E New South Wales to Sydney.
  • Also Romang I (NE of Timor) and Yamdena I (Tanimbar Is)#R, but racial diagnosis disputed.

    Descriptive notes

    18–21 cm; c. 35–40 g. A medium-sized, rather drab grassbird with long and graduated tail, rectrices narrowing to blunt tip but not becoming unduly frayed.... read more

    Voice

    Song transcriptions vary somewhat over wide range, although significance of this unclear: in... read more

    Habitat

    Reedbeds and grasslands, especially rank grassland with scattered shrubs; particularly in riverine... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods and other invertebrates; some seeds also eaten. Feeds almost entirely on small insects, chiefly larvae of moths (Lepidoptera)... read more

    Breeding

    Season chiefly between Aug and Apr (at onset of local rains) in Australia; breeding reported Feb–Aug in Philippines; single-brooded.... read more

    Movements

    Chiefly resident. At least some Australian populations partially migratory or nomadic; precise... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common; status poorly known in many parts of range. In Philippines, occurs on all major islands and is considered to be locally common.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Tawny Grassbird (Cincloramphus timoriensis). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/58708 on 23 February 2019).