Graceful Prinia or Graceful Warbler

The Graceful Prinia, Prinia gracilis, is a small warbler (in some older works it is referred to as Graceful Warbler).

Distribution / Range

This prinia is a resident breeder in Northeast Africa and Southwest Asia, from Egypt and Somalia east to Pakistanand North India, where it is sometimes called Streaked Wren-Warbler.

This active passerine bird is typically found in shrub or tall grass in a variety of habitats with thick undergrowth, tamarisks or similar cover.


These 10-11 cm long warblers have short rounded wings, and a long tapering tail with each feather tipped with black and white. In breeding plumage, adults are grey-brown above, with dark streaking. The underparts are whitish with buff flanks, and the bill is short and black.

Males and females look alike. In winter, adults are brighter sandy brown above with weaker streaking, there is more buff on the sides, and the bill is paler.

There are 12 subspecies, of which P. g. akyildizi, of southern Turkey is the darkest, brownest, and most heavily streaked above, and has the brightest buff flanks.

The long tail is often cocked, and the flight of this species is weak.

Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)
Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)
Graceful Prinia (Prinia gracilis)

Diet / Feeding

Like most warblers, Graceful Prinia is insectivorous.

Breeding / Nesting

Graceful Prinia builds its nest in a bush or grass and lays 3-5 eggs.

Calls / Vocalizations

The call is a rolling trilled breep, and the song is a hard rolling repletion of zerlip.


  1. BirdLife International (2004). Prinia gracilis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  2. Ali, Salim; J. C. Daniel (naturalist) (1983). The book of Indian Birds, Twelfth Centenary edition. Bombay Natural History Society/Oxford University Press.
  • Warblers of Europe, Asia and North Africa by Baker, ISBN 0-7136-3971-7
  • Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6
Photo of author

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