Jungle Prinias

The Jungle Prinia, Prinia sylvatica, is a small passerine bird, a warbler in the Cisticola family.

Distribution and habitat

The prinia is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka, typically found in dry open grassland, open woodland, scrub and sometimes gardens.


These 15 cm long warblers have short rounded wings, a longish tail, strong legs and a short black bill. In breeding plumage, adults are grey-brown above, with a short white supercilium and warmer brown rump.

There are rufous fringes on the closed wings and white edged to the tail. Underparts are whitish-buff. The sexes are identical except that the male has a blacker bill and mouth in the breeding season.

In winter, the upperparts are a warmer brown, and the underparts more buff. The tail is longer than in summer. There are a four races differing in plumage shade.

The distinctive endemic race in Sri Lanka, P. s.valida, retains summer plumage, including the shorter tail, all year round, and lacks the supercilium and white in the tail.

Jungle Prinia, Prinia sylvatica
Jungle Prinia, Prinia sylvatica
Jungle Prinia, Prinia sylvatica)


Like most warblers, the prinia is insectivorous. It builds its nest in a shrub or tall grass and lays 3-5 eggs. The song is a repetitive pit-pretty, pit-pretty, pit-pretty.


  • BirdLife International (2004). Prinia sylvatica. 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
  • 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
jungle prinia
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