Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

White-breasted Parrotbill (Psittiparus ruficeps)


French: Paradoxornis à tête rousse German: Weißkehl-Papageimeise Spanish: Picoloro cabecirrufo occidental
Other common names: Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill (when lumped with P. bakeri)

Paradoxornis ruficeps


, 1842,



Until recently considered conspecific with P. bakeri. Monotypic.


NE India (Sikkim and N West Bengal E to E Arunachal Pradesh at Mishmi Hills), Bhutan and adjacent S China (SE Xizang).

Descriptive notes

19–19·5 cm; male 30–32 g, female 32–34 g. Rather large parrotbill with relatively long bill. Adult has crown to nape and head side deep bright... read more


Song a loud, very high, thin, slightly descending series of 4–6 whistled notes, “he-he-... read more


Bamboo in or near broadleaf evergreen forest, forest edge; locally, dense thickets of reeds and... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on insects, including small beetles (Coleoptera); also seeds, including those of cultivated millet (Panicum) and rice (... read more


Apr–Oct in India. Nest a neat and compact deep cup made of strips of grass stems and a few cobwebs, lined with fine fibrous threads... read more


Believed to be strictly sedentary; does, however, have strong dependence on bamboo, and could be... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: endemic to Eastern Himalayas EBA. Generally uncommon throughout its range; perhaps fairly common at some... read more

Recommended citation

Robson, C. & Christie, D.A. (2020). White-breasted Parrotbill (Psittiparus ruficeps). 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 26 February 2020).