Common Name : Plain Prinia
Scientific Name : Prinia inornata (Sykes, 1832)
Order : Passeriformes
Family : Cisticolidae
Taxonomic Group : Passeriformes - Cisticolidae ( Cisticolas and allies )
Vernacular Name : Hindi: Phutki, Telugu: Lotakunjitta, Punjab: Piddi, M.P.: Chitakul, Lepcha (Sikkim): Niongpho, Tamil: Tinakuruvi, Telugu: Chitkuruvi, Malayalam (Kerala): Vayalkuruvi, Karnataka: Uliyakki, Sinhala (Sri Lanka): Hambukurulla, Gujarat: Pan fadakfutki, Maharas
Common Name : Plain Prinia
Scientific Name : Prinia inornata
Order : Passeriformes Family : Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
Number of SubSpecies : 10
|Taxon Category||Sub Species / Race||Range||subspecies||Prinia inornata terricolor||E Baluchistan to Pakistan and nw India|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata inornata||Central and peninsular India (south to s Madras)|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata franklinii||S India (sw Mysore, Kerala and hills of w and s Madras)|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata insularis||Sri Lanka|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata fusca||Nepal to Sikkim, Bhutan, Assam and Bangladesh|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata extensicauda||S China to n Laos, n Vietnam and Hainan|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata blanfordi||Myanmar and n Thailand|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata herberti||S Myanmar and s Thailand to s Laos, Cambodia and s Vietnam|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata flavirostris||Taiwan|
|subspecies||Prinia inornata blythi||Java|
3rd Edition, 2003. Revised and Corrected per Corrigenda to December 31, 2006
Common Name : Plain Prinia
Scientific Name : Prinia inornata
Number of SubSpecies : 10
|Sub Species / Race||Prinia inornata terricolor|
|Prinia inornata fusca|
|Prinia inornata blanfordi|
|Prinia inornata extensicauda|
|Prinia inornata herberti|
|Prinia inornata flavirostris|
|Prinia inornata inornata|
|Prinia inornata franklinii|
|Prinia inornata insularis|
|Prinia inornata blythi|
IOC Common Name : Plain Prinia
IOC Scientific Name : Prinia inornata
Region : OR Range : widespread
Order : PASSERIFORMES Family : Cisticolidae
Category : Cisticolas and allies
SYNOPIS NO : 1510-1514
Scientific Name: Prinia subflava
Common Name: Plain Wren-Warbler
Common Name : Plain Prinia
Scientific Name : Prinia inornata (Sykes, 1832)
Birdlife Synonym :
BirdLife Redlist Status Year 2010: LC
BirdLife Species FactSheet for Plain Prinia ( Prinia inornata )
Taxonomy Treatment : R
IUCN Common Name (Eng) : Plain Prinia
Scientific Name : Prinia inornata (Sykes, 1832)
IUCN Redlist Species FactSheet for Plain Prinia ( Prinia inornata )
Species : inornata
Genus : Prinia
Family : Cisticolidae Order : Passeriformes
IUCN RedList Status : LC
IUCN RedList Criteria Version : 3.1
IUCN RedList Year Assessed : 2008
IUCN RedList Petitioned : N
Family : CISTICOLIDAE
Scientific Name : Prinia inornata
Common Name : Plain Prinia
Bibliography of Plain Prinia ( Prinia inornata )
Number of Results found : 34
1. Craig Robson , (2005), Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata), BIRDS OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA; New Holland Publishers Ltd, : 108.
2. Krys Kazmierczak; Ber van Perlo , (2000), Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata), A FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT; Yale University Press, : 246.
3. Carol Inskipp; Tim Inskipp; Richard Grimmett , (1999), Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata), HELM FIELD GUIDES - BIRDS of BHUTAN; A&C Black, : 142.
4. Shegaonkar SB; , (1999), Web of death, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 39:5: 80.
5. , (1999), A bird-catching spider, Hornbill, 1999:July-September: 12.
6. , (1999), Web of Death, Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 39:2: 19.
7. Pittie A;Jaltare S; , (1998), Field craft: Identification of Prinia warblers of Andhra Pradesh, Pitta, 90:: 2 - 3.
8. , (1998), Wellawaya-Handapanagala area; Wadinahela Rock; Handapanagala - 1.4, Ceylon Bird Club Notes, 1998:March: 29 - 30.
9. Salim Ali; S Dillon RipleyÂ , (1997), No. 1514. Plain Wren-Warbler (Prinia subflava insularis) (Legge), Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Volume 8 (Warblers to Redstarts ): 55.
10. Salim Ali; S Dillon RipleyÂ , (1997), No. 1513. Plain Wren-Warbler (Prinia subflava franklinii) Blyth, Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Volume 8 (Warblers to Redstarts ): 54.
11. Salim Ali; S Dillon RipleyÂ , (1997), No. 1512. Plain Wren-Warbler (Prinia subflava fusca) (Hodgson), Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Volume 8 (Warblers to Redstarts ): 53.
12. Salim Ali; S Dillon RipleyÂ , (1997), No. 1511. Plain Wren-Warbler (Prinia subflava inornata) Sykes, Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Volume 8 (Warblers to Redstarts ): 52.
13. Salim Ali; S Dillon RipleyÂ , (1997), No. 1510. Plain Wren-Warbler (Prinia subflava terricolor ) (Hume), Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, Volume 8 (Warblers to Redstarts ): 50.
14. Kevin Baker; Jeff Baker , (1997), Plain Prinia (Prinia subflava), Warblers of Europe, Asia, and North Africa; Princeton University Press, : 240.
15. Senanayake N; , (1997), Colombo; Bundala, Ceylon Bird Club Notes, 1997:October: 54.
16. Munidasa KGH; , (1992), Avissawella, Ceylon Bird Club Notes, 1992:July: 90.
17. Ekanayake U; , (1992), Randenigala, Ceylon Bird Club Notes, 1992:March: 50 - 51.
18. Sridharan U;Sivasubramanian C; , (1986), Additional records of the Black Drongo (Dicrurus adsimilis) feeding on birds, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 83:Supp: 212 - 213.
19. Gaston AJ; , (1986), The effect of grazing on the abundance and diversity of birds in scrub vegetation at Nathdwara, Rajasthan, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 83:1: 214 - 217.
20. Kou, Z. , (1985), [A preliminary study on the breeding behavior of Prinia inornata extensicauda.], Dongwuxue Yanjiu, 6: 69 - 77.
21. Pillai G; , (1981), Madhu, Ceylon Bird Club Notes, 1981:May: 25 - 26.
22. Price T; , (1978), Some observations on the Warbler populations of the upland perennial wetlands in the Eastern Ghats, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 75:2: 488 - 490.
23. Inglis CM; , (1958), Birds of the Duars, Journal of the Bengal Natural History Society, 30:2: 81 - 84.
24. Deraniyagala PEP; , (1956), A new race of the Wren Warbler Prinia inornata from Ceylon, Spolia Zeylanica, 28:1: 97.
25. Ali S; , (1931), 'The origin of mimicry in Cuckoo eggs', Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 34:4: 1067 - 1070.
26. Ali S; , (1931), Casualties among the eggs and young of small birds, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 34:4: 1062 - 1067.
27. Reed F; , (1920), Note on the eggs of Prinia inornata, the Indian Wren-Warbler, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 26:4: 1042 - 1043.
28. Harington HH; , (1913), [Exhibition and description of new subspecies of Indian birds (Suya crinigera cooki, S.c. yunnanensis, Prinia inornata burmanica, and P.i. formosa)], Bulletin of the British Ornithologists Club, 31:189: 109 - 111.
29. Brooks WE; , (1878), Letters to the Editor, Stray Feathers, 7:3,4&5: 468.
30. Hume AO; , (1876), On the identity of Drymoipus terricolor, and Drymoipus longicaudatus, Stray Feathers, 4:4,5&6: 407 - 410.
31. Brooks WE; , (1876), Ornithological notes and corrections, Stray Feathers, 4:4,5&6: 268 - 278.
32. Brooks WE; , (1876), Letters to the Editor, Stray Feathers, 4:1,2&3: 229 - 230.
33. Brooks WE; , (1875), On Drymoips inornatus, Sykes, and Drymoipus longicaudatus, Tickell, Stray Feathers, 3:4: 295 - 296.
34. Hume AO; , (1873), Nests and Eggs of Indian Birds, Office of Superintendent of Government Printing Calcutta, : 662.
Sykes, Cat. 79 - Jerdon, Cat. 118 - Blyth, Cat. 804 - Horsf., Cat. 510 - P. macroura, Franklin - P. Frankllnii, Blyth, Cat. 805 (in part) - Prinia fusca, Hodgson - Lota-kun-Jitta, Tel - Niong-pho. Lepch.
The Common Wren-Warbler.
Descr. - Head and back greyish brown, with an olivaceous tinge on the head and hind neck; wings brown, edged pale rufous; tail rufous or brownish, with a terminal dark spot, and the centre tail feathers obsoletely banded; a whitish superclliura, and whitish lores and chin; beneath whitish with a faint fulvescent tinge; thighs pale ferruginous brown.
Bill dusky brown above, yellowish or fleshy at the base beneath ; legs fleshy yellow; Irides brownish yellow. Length 5 to 5 1/2 inches ; wing 1 3/4 to 1 8/10 ; tail 2 3/4 ; hill at front 3/8, tarsus 8/10.
Horsfield, In his Catalogue, has joined Sykes and Franklin's species, which last Mr. Blyth had already united to Hodgson's fusca. Under his number 510 he has placed specimens from Col. Sykes, from Mr. Hodgson and from Bengal; and I have no doubt' has carefully compared them together. On examining my notes.
I find specimens described from Southern India, from the Himalayas, and Ghazeepore, which, on the whole, agree very well with each other; and the few slight differences apparent may depend on age, or on the more or less abrasion the feathers have undergone. Blyth, who at one time considered them distinct, in the J. A. S., XVIII., 12, note, declared his belief that the two were identical, and that inornata was the worn and abnaded plumage of macroura. On a previous occasion, when contrasting the supposed two species, (J. A. S. XVI.) I imagine that he had the next species In view; and Hodgson, in his original description of fusca, had at that time probably not distinguished the next species. When freshly moalted, the sub-terminal dark band of the tail has more the character of a large spot, and the whitish tips are then more conspicuous, but, by abrasion, become lost and the spot appears as a band. In no case does the wing over come up to 2 inches, more generally 1 3/4. The tail of course accidentally varies much length.
The common Wren-Warbler is found throughout India in low jungles, bushy ground, hedgerows, in cultivated ground, and even in gardens. It is generally In pairs, occasionally in small flocks, flying incessantly from bush to bush, hunting for insects, and every now and then descending to the ground. It has a rather loud monotonous note, twee-twee-twee; and occasionally one perches himself on the top of a bush, and gives a sort of feeble, but sprightly twittering song. Its flight is feeble, struggling as it were, by jerks, and. when pursued, they conceal themselves in the thick bushes. I have found the nest and eggs repeatedly, usually in a thorny shrub, at about three or four feet from the ground. The nest is very neatly woven with grass, nearly globular, with a hole at the side, and lined with some soft down, generally that of the Calotropis gigantea, and sometimes with feathers. It is firmly fixed to some of the thorny twigs of the bush, and it is impossible to remove it without cutting the supporting branches. The eggs are from two to four, bright pale blue, with large blotches of purplish brown, one of the most beautiful eggs I know. I imagine that the nest described by me, under 118 of my Cat., probably refers to the next species.
This species probably extends to Ceylon, but Mr. Layard describes the nest as built among reeds, the tops of which it draws together into a dome over the nest. As stated above, I have always found the nest in a thorny shrub.
Mr. Blyth, J. A. S., XI, 883 and XVI., 459, described a Drymoica as D. Jerdoni, Cat. 803, from specimens sent by myself from Southern India, which he has since absorbed into D. longicaudatus, stating that this supposed species was founded on a rather large specimen with abraded plumage. This specimen is still in existence, though rather in a dilapidated state ; and on examination of it, I am by no means certain of Its identity, but shall not separate it till other specimens are obtained. It appears to me very similar to some Ceylon birds, which Mr. Blyth doubtfully considered identical with D. inornatus. It appears intermediate in form between that species and D. sylvaticus.
543. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 178; 543bis. :- D. terricolor, Hume; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 481; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 407; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 153; Prinia inornata, Sykes ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 126.
The Common Wren Warbler.
Length, 5 to 5.5; wing, 1.75 to 1.8; tail, 2.75; tarsus, 0.8, bill at front, 0.4.
Bill dusky-brown above, yellowish or fleshy at the base beneath ; irides brownish-yellow; legs fleshy-yellow.
Head and back greyish-brown, with an olivaceous tinge on the head and hind-neck; wings brown, edged pale rufous; tail rufous or brownish, with a terminal dark spot, and the centre tail-feathers obsoletely banded; a whitish supercilium and whitish lores and chin ; beneath whitish, with a faint fulvescent tinge; thighs pale fulvescent-brown.
It is now generally admitted by ornithologists that the birds described by Dr. Jerdon under Nos. 543 and 544, viz., D. inornata and D. longicaudatus are the same in different phases of plumage, the principal difference being the longer tail of the latter.
The Common or Earth-brown Wren Warbler is a permanent resident throughout the distrit, breeding during July and August; it usually constructs a rather pretty nest, composed of fine strips torn from blades of green grass which are plaited together like those of the Baya, but the strips are much finer and the nest altogether neater ; it is usually fastened to the thorny twigs of acacia bushes, at no great height from the ground, and the shape depends largely on the position of these twigs. According to my experience the nest is never lined.
Another type of nest is composed of the same material, but is much coarser, and more loosely woven.
Nests of this latter description are built in clumps of sarpat, guinea, or other rank-growing grass, or even in standing corn ; they are purse-shaped, with the entrance on one side, the opposite side being prolonged and projecting over, so as to form a canopy. The eggs, four or five in number, are moderately long ovals, of a glossy pale greenish-blue color, boldly spotted and blotched with chocolate and reddish-brown, with a delicate tracery of interlaced hair-like lines at the larger end, but occasionally these lines are absent, the small end being usually spotless. The ground color is also subject to variation, eggs having been taken of a dull olive-green tint, and still more rarely of a clear reddish-white. They measure 061 inches in length by 045 in breadth. B. inornata also equals B. terricolor.
Drymoeca blanfordi, (Walden), Hume, cat. no. 543 ter.
Mr. Oates, who found this bird very common in Pegu, writes: "The Burmese Wren-Warbler is perhaps the commonest bird of the Pegu plains. From Myitkyo on the Sittang, and possibly from further north, down to Rangoon, it is to be found in all the low tracts covered with grass. Where it occurs it is a constant resident and breeds from May to August. I have found the nest in the middle of May, but it is not till July that the bulk of the birds lay.
"The nest is never more than 4 feet from the ground, and is attached either to two or more stalks of elephant-grass or to the stem of a low weed, or to the blades of certain tender grasses which grow in thick tufts. There is little or no attempt at concealment. The materials forming the nest are entirely fine grasses, of equal coarseness or fineness throughout, gathered green, and so beautifully woven together that it is almost impossible to destroy a nest by tearing it asunder, although it may be looked through. In shape it is somewhat of a cylinder, with a tendency to swell out at the middle. Its length, or rather height (for its longer axis, being invariably parallel to the stalks to which the nest is attached, is generally upright), is from 6 to 8 inches, and its extreme width 4. The entrance is placed at the top of the nest, the sides of which are produced an inch or two above the lower edge of the entrance. The thickness of the walls is very small, seldom reaching half, and generally being only a quarter, of an inch. Occasionally the nest is almost globular, but the back of the entrance is in every case produced upwards some inches. There is no lining at all.
"The eggs never exceed four, and frequently are only three, in number, and the female does not commence sitting till the full number is laid. She deserts the nest on the slightest provocation; and if a nest with only one or two eggs is found, and the fingers inserted, it is useless to leave the eggs in hopes of getting more. She will lay no more. I have tested this in at least ten cases."
Major C. T. Bingham tells us: "About Kaukarit, on the Houndraw river in Tenasserim, I found this species, in June 1878, very common. They were then breeding, and I found several nests, all, however, unfinished; these were, in material and make, very like the nests of P. inornata which I had taken years ago in India."
The eggs of this species recall in many respects those of P. inornata, but the ground-colour is much more variable, and the markings are more blotchy and less intricate in shape. They are pretty regular ovals, and while some are very glossy others exhibit but little of this. The ground-colour is perhaps typically pale greenish blue, but in a great many specimens this is more or less obliterated by a reddish or pinkish tinge, as if the colour of the markings had run; in some the ground is a sort of reddish olive, in some pinky white. The markings are large blotches and spots, often forming zones or caps about the larger end, where they seem almost always to be most conspicuous, as they vary in colour from an intense burnt-sienna which is almost black, through a dingy maroon, and again to a dull, somewhat pale reddish brown; here and there individual eggs exhibit a hair-line or two, or a hieroglyphic-like mark, but these are the exceptions.
The eggs vary in length from 0·53 to 0·64 inch, and in breadth from 0·42 to 0·45; but the average of fourteen eggs is 0·58 by 0·44.
Very constantly smears or clouds of a paler shade than the blotches cover large portions of the surface between these. Occasionally all the markings are smeared and ill-defined, and in some eggs they are almost entirely wanting, and nothing but a scratch or two about the large end is to be seen.
The Burmese Wren- Warbler.
Drymoipus extensicauda, Swinh. apud Oates, S. F. iii, p. 340. Drymoeca blanfordi, Wald. in Blyth, Birds Burm. p. 118; Hume, S, F. v, p. 57; id. Cat. no. 543 ter. Drymoeca extensicauda (Swinh.), apud Oates, S. F. v, p. 159, x, p. 221; Hume, Cat. no. 544 quat.; id. S. F. xi, p. 215. Drymoipus extensicaudata, Swinh. apud Armstrong, S. F. iv, p. 323. Drymoica blanfordi, Wald., Hume &; Dav. S. F. vi, p. 349. Drymoica extensicauda (Swinh.), apud Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 350 ; Bingham, S. F. ix, p. 186. Prinia inornata, Sykes, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 195 (part.). Prinia blanfordi ( Wald.), Oates, B. B. i, p. 112; id, in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 305.
Coloration. Resembles P. inornata, but at both seasons of the year there is an appreciable tinge of green running through the upper plumage; the sides of the head and the supercilium are distinctly fulvous; the subterminal patches on the tail-feathers are very large and distinct, nearly black and as broad as the feathers, and the tips are pure white and very well defined. An important difference is that the bill remains brown throughout the summer.
Iris orange-yellow ; eyelids plumbeous, the edges orange ; upper mandible fleshy brown, lower pale fleshy, the tips dusky; mouth flesh-coloured ; legs reddish yellow ; claws pinkish horn.
Length in winter 6, in summer 5.2 ; tail in winter 3, in summer 2 to 2.2 ; wing 1.9 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. Occurs abundantly in suitable localities throughout Southern Pegu and the valley of the Sittoung river up to Toungngoo. This bird is also found in Tenasserim as far south as Tavoy.
Habits, &c. Breeds from May to August or even later, constructing a deep purse-like nest of grass, attached to several stalks of elephant grass or the small branches of a bush or weed not far from the ground. The eggs, three or four in number, are white or pale green or pale pink, spotted and blotched with dark purple and reddish brown. They measure .58 by .44.
P. extensicauda, Swinh., from China, differs from P. inornata in being much greener above and more yellow below; and from P. blanfordi in having the bill black in summer as well as in other particulars.
Drymoipus inornatus (Sykes), Jerdon B. Ind. ii. p. 178; Hume, Rough Draft N. & E. no. 543.
Drymoipus longicaudatus (Tickell), Jerdon B. Ind. ii, p. 180.
Drymoipus terricolor, (Hume); Hume, Rough Draft N, & E. no. 543 bis.
The breeding-season of this Wren-Warbler commences with the first fall of rain, and lasts through July and August to quite the middle of September.
The birds construct a very elegant nest, always closely and compactly woven, of very fine blades, or strips of blades, of grass, in no nests exceeding one-twentieth of an inch in width, and in many of not above half this breadth. The grass is always used when fresh and green, so as to be easily woven in and out. Both parents work at the nest, clinging at first to the neighboring stems of grass or twigs, and later to the nest itself, while they push the ends of the grass backwards and forwards in and out; in fact, they work very much like the Baya (P. baya), and the nest, though much smaller, is in texture very like that of this latter species, the great difference being that the Baya, with us, more often uses stems, and Prinia strips of blades of grass. The nest varies in shape and in size, according to its situation: a very favorite locality is in amongst clumps of the sarpatta, or serpent-grass, in which case the bird builds a long and purse-like nest, attached above and all round to the surrounding grass-stems, with a small entrance near the top. Such nests are often 8 or 9 inches in length, and 3 inches or even more in external diameter, and with an internal cavity measuring 1½ inch in diameter, and having a depth of nearly 4 inches below the lower margin of the entrance-hole. At other times they are hung between bare twigs, often of some thorny bush, or are even placed in low herbaceous plants; in these cases they are usually nearly globular, with the entrance-hole near the top; they are then probably 3½ inches in external diameter in every direction. In other cases they are hung to or between two or more leaves to which the birds attach the nest, much as a Tailor-bird would do, using, however, fine grass instead of cobwebs or cotton-wool for ligaments. I have never found more than five eggs in any nest, and four is certainly the normal number.
Mr. R. M. Adam remarks: "I had a nest brought me in Oudh on the 17th April, containing four eggs. About Agra and Mathura, where as you know the birds are very common, I have always obtained the greatest number of eggs during August; four is the regular number; in one taken on the 16th August I found five eggs."
Mr. W. Blewitt writes: "During July, August, and the early part of September I found multitudes of nests of this species in the neighborhood of Hausie, almost exclusively in the Dhasapoor, Dhana, and Secundapoor Beerhs or jungle-preserves.
"The nests, of which numerous specimens were sent to you, were of the usual type, and were nearly all found in ber (Z. jujuba) and hinse (Capparis aphylla) bushes, at heights of from 3 to 4 feet from the ground. I did not meet with more than four eggs in any one nest."
Colonel E. A. Butler says: "The Indian Wren-Warbler is very common in the plains, frequenting low scrub-jungle and long grass studied with low bushes (Calotropis, Zizyphus, etc.). It breeds during the monsoon, commencing to build in July, during which month and August in the neighborhood of Deesa I must have examined some three or four dozen nests. There are two distinct types of nests, and there may be two species of this genus in this part of the country; but I must confess that after shooting a large number of specimens of both sexes, and after examining an immense series of the eggs, I have failed to make out more than one species, and that Mr. Hume informs me is his Drymoipus terricolor. The nests alluded to vary as follows: One type is very closely and compactly woven, as described of D. terricolor ('Nests and Eggs, Rough Draft,' p. 349), with the entrance almost at the top. The other type is built of the same material, with the exception that the grass is rather coarser, but is more in shape like a Wren's nest, and the grass is somewhat loosely put together instead of being woven, and it has the entrance with a slight canopy over it upon one side. The eggs four, and not uncommonly five, in number, were exactly alike in both types, as also were the specimens of the birds themselves that I obtained.
"Nearly all the nests I have seen have been built on the outside of ber bushes (Z. jujuba), at heights varying from 2½ to 5 feet from the ground."
Mr. B. Aitken says: "I found this nest at Bombay on the 13th October, 1873, at the edge of a tank some 2 feet above the ground. I have found four or five precisely similar ones before, generally in similar situations. The nest was strongly attached to the stems and leaves of four herbaceous plants growing close together. In many cases the strips of grass had been passed through and pierced the leaves. The nest is deep and purse-shaped; the sides were prolonged upwards, except in front where the entrance was, and joined above so as to form a canopy. The nest has no lining, and none of the nests of this species that I ever saw have ever had any lining. The whole nest inside and out is composed of fine strips of blades of grass interwoven. The eggs, five in number, varied much in size. In colour they were bright blue, most irregularly blotched with various shades of purplish brown: some of the blotches very large, some mere specks. Each egg had also washed-out stains or blotches. The smaller eggs were by far the brighter.
"By reason of the roof and walls the entrance to the nest was at one side, but there was nothing that could be called a hole. The roof projected over the entrance, forming a porch. Six or eight nests which I have seen of this species were all over water. But the birds are by no means confined to marshy localities. Even in the middle of the rains the nests are invariably made of dry yellow grass. One nest found in Berar was in a babul bush, where of course there could have been no leaves pierced."
Mr. E. Aitken writes: "I have found a good many nests in Bombay, and it breeds in Poona too. My notes only mention two nests with eggs, on the 22nd and 25th August, but I found some much later; and I am almost certain it begins to lay much earlier, if not actually at the beginning of the monsoon, like Orthotomus and Prinia. It builds in gardens and cultivated fields, especially in the vicinity of water, and often among plants growing in water.
"The nest is very firmly attached to the twigs of some plant where long grass or other plants completely surround and conceal it. It is usually about 3 foot from the ground. It varies much in size and shape, some being much deeper than others, and some having the top open; others an entrance somewhat to one side.
"I have always found three or four eggs - bright blue, with large irregular purplish-brown blotches and no hair-lines. I should have said that the nest is a bag, very uniformly woven, of fine grass, and never with any lining - at any rate in none that I have ever found. They never use the same nest twice, always building a fresh one even if you only rob without injuring the first. I think they have only one brood in the year, but, like Orthotomusand Prinia, one or two nests are generally deserted or destroyed by some accident before they succeed in rearing a brood."
Major C. T. Bingham informs us that this Wren-Warbler is a common breeder both at Allahabad and at Delhi from March to September. Builds a neat bottle-shaped nest in clumps of surpat grass, of fine strips of the grass itself, which I have repeatedly watched the birds tearing off. The eggs are lovely little oval fragile shells of a deep blue, blotched and speckled and covered with fine hair-like lines, chiefly at the large end, of a deep chocolate-brown.
The eggs are a moderately long, and generally a pretty perfect, oval, often pointed towards one end, sometimes globular, seldom, if ever, much elongated. The shell is fine and glossy, and comparatively thick and strong. The ground-colour is normally a beautiful pale greenish blue, most richly marked with various shades of deep chocolate and reddish brown. Nothing can exceed the beauty or variety of the markings, which are a combination of bold blotches, clouds, and spots, with delicate, intricately interwoven lines, recalling somewhat, but more elaborate and, I think, finer than, those of our early favorite - the Yellow Hammer. The markings are invariably most conspicuous at the large end, where there is very commonly a conspicuous confluent cap, and the delicate lines are almost without exception confined to the broader half of the egg.
Very commonly the smaller end of the egg is entirely spotless, and I have a beautiful specimen now before me in which the only markings consist of a ring of delicate lines round the large end. Some idea of the delicacy and intricacy of these lines may be formed when I mention that this zone is barely one tenth of an inch broad, and yet in a good light between twenty and thirty interlaced lines making up this zone may be counted.
The intricacy of the pattern is in some cases almost incredible, and, what with the remarkable character of the patterns and the rich and varying shades of their colors, these little eggs are, I think, amongst the most beautiful known. Occasionally the ground-colour of the eggs, instead of being a bright greenish blue, is a pale, rather dull, olive-green, and still more rarely it is a clear pinkish white. These latter eggs are so rare that I have only seen six in about as many hundreds.
In size the eggs vary from 0·53 to 0·7 in length, and from 0·42 to 0·5 in breadth; but the average of one hundred and twenty eggs measured was 0·61 by 0·45.
The Indian Wren-Warbler.
Prinia inornata, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1882, p. 89 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. vii, p. 195 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 114 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 301. Sylvia longicaudata, Tick. J. A. S. B. ii, p. 576 (1633). Prinia fusca, Hodgs. in Cray's Zool. Misc. p. 82 (1844) ; id. P. Z. S. 1845, p. 29. Drymoipus inornatus (Sykes), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 178 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 346; id. & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 215, pl. xvii, fig. 1; Brooks, S. F. iii, p. 295, iv, p. 274; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 640 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 218. Drymoipus longicaudatus (Tick.), Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 180; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 215, pi. xvii, fig. 2; Butler & Hume, S. F. iii, p. 483. Drymoipus fuscus (Hodgs.), Hume, N. & E. p. 348. Drymoipus terricolor, Hume, N. & E. p. 349 ; Butler & Hume, S. F. iii, p. 481; Brooks, S. F. iv, p. 229 ; Hume, S. F. iv, p. 407. Drymoipus longicaudus (Tick.), Hume, N. & E. p. 350. Drymoeca inornata (Sykes), Hume, Cat. no. 543; Brooks, S. F. vii, p. 468. Drymoeca fusca (Hodgs.), Hume, S. F. vii, p. 395; id.Cat, no. 543 bis. Drymoeca longicaudata (Tick.), Hume, Cat. no. 544.
The Common Wren- Warbler ; The Long-tailed Wren-Warbler, Jerd.; Lota-kun-jitta, Tel.; Niong-pho, Lepch.
Coloration. In summer the whole upper plumage is earthy brown, each feather with a darker centre ; the wings and tail edged with pale fulvous, the latter cross-rayed; lores brown; a supercilium from the nostrils to just behind the eye, and a ring round the eye pale fulvous-white ; ear-coverts and under the eye pale brown ; the whole lower plumage pale buff, the thighs conspicuously darker than the other parts ; lower aspect of tail whitish, with narrow, ill-defined, and frequently obsolete subterminal brown spots.
In winter the upper plumage is fulvous-brown, the crown indistinctly streaked with brown ; wings dark brown, edged with rufous ; tail rufous-brown, indistinctly cross-rayed and margined with brighter rufous ; lores, a supercilium to just past the eye, the sides of the head, and the whole lower plumage pale buff, the thighs conspicuously darker; lower aspect of tail pale rufous with paler tips and very indistinct, or obsolete, subterminal brown patches. The young resemble the adults in winter plumage, but are more rufous above and of a brighter buff below; the tail is faintly tipped with rufous, but there are no traces of subterminal bars.
Specimens from Manipur resemble P. inornata in having the bills black in summer and brown in winter plumage, and in the character of the tail-marks, but the whole tone of the winter plumage is very tawny.' A Bhamo specimen is nearer to P. inornata than to P. blanfordi.
In summer the bill is black; iris yellowish brown; legs and feet flesh-colour (Butler).
In winter the bill is brown, pale horny fleshy at the base of the lower mandible; legs and feet fleshy-pink, the feet tinged brownish ; iris bright yellow (Hume).
Length. In winter, Length up to 6.5, tail up to 3.5 ; in summer, Length up to about 5.3, tad up to 2.3 ; wing 2 ; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .6.
Distribution. Distributed as a permanent resident throughout the whole of India from the Himalayas to the Nilgiri hills. At Naduvatam on the Nilgiris this and the next species are found together and both are typical in coloration and Length of tail. P. inornata extends to the East as far as Manipur, and a Bhamo specimen is very close to this species, but the exact range of this and P. blanfordi can only be determined with absolute accuracy by summer-killed specimens. Blyth records P. inornata from Arrakan.
Habits, &c. Breeds throughout the rains, constructing a deep purselike nest composed entirely of fine grass and attached to some stems of grass. The eggs, generally four in number, are greenish blue, spotted, speckled, and blotched with chocolate and red, in addition to which marks there are usually some delicate interwoven lines of the same colours. They measure .61 by .45.
* I cannot identify Prinia adamsi, Jerdon (Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 170; Blanford, Ibis, 1872, p. 84; Hume, N. & E. p. 335; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 215).
Drymoeca jerdoni (Blyth), Hume, cat. no. 544 ter.
Mr. Davison says: "The Southern Wren-Warbler breeds chiefly on the slopes of the Nilgiris about the Badaga cultivation. The nest is entirely composed of fine grass, and is generally placed about 2 or 3 feet from the ground, either in a clump of long grass or attached to the branch of a small bush. It is often suspended, domed, and with the opening near the top. The eggs, generally three, are blue, spotted and lined with deep red-brown."
From Kotagherry Miss Cockburn tells us that "the Common Wren-Warbler has no song, but is loud and frequent in its repetition of a few notes during the breeding-season. Its nest, which is globular, is built in the same shape as that of P. socialis, with the entrance at one end, on some low bush, but it only uses one material, namely fine long grass, and does not add any soft lining. The colour of its eggs, however, is totally different, of a light bluish green, and having a number of spots and streaks like dark threads carried round and through the spots, which are mostly at the thick end. The breeding-season lasts from April to July."
Mr. C. J. W. Taylor, writing from Manzeerabad, Mysore, says: "Fairly common throughout the district. Eggs taken on the 15th July, 1882."
Mr. Rhodes W. Morgan, writing from South India, remarks: "It builds a neat pendent nest in long grass on the Nilgiris. The nest is composed entirely of short pieces of grass fitted together, and is very compact. The eggs are three in number, and are of a blue colour, with large blotches and hair-like streaks of a dark reddish brown at the upper end. An egg measured ·69 inch by ·5."
The eggs of this species do not differ materially in size, shape, or markings from those of P. inornata which are very fully described above.
The Southern Wren-Warbler.
Drymoica jerdoni,Blyth, J. A. S. B. xvi, p. 459 (1847); id. Cat. p. 142; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 180. Drymoipus jerdoni (Blyth), Hume, S. F. i, p. 437. Drymoipus fuscus (Hodgs.), Hume, A. & E. p. 348. Drymoeca inornata (Sykes), apud Fairbank, S. F. v, p. 406. Drymoeca insularis, Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 529, pl. xxv (1879); Parker, S. F. ix, p. 480. Drymoeca jerdoni (Blyth), Hume, Cat. no. 544 ter. Drymoeca inornata (Sykes), Davison, S. F. x, p. 393. Prinia jerdoni (Blyth), Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 304.
Coloration. Resembles P. inornata. Differs in having the sub-terminal spots on the tail large, dark brown, and distinct, and the whitish tips very sharply defined ; the tail in winter is shorter, not exceeding the Length of the tail of P. inornata in summer; the upper plumage is much darker and less rufous in the winter.
The young bird has the dark spots on the tail developed in an extraordinary manner.
Of the same dimensions as P. inornata, but the tail in winter does not exceed 3, and in summer 2.
Distribution. Southern India from Mysore to Cape Comorin; Ceylon. This bird occurs at considerable elevations as well as on the plains, being found on the Palni hills up to 5000 feet.
Habits, &c. Breeds from April to July, constructing a nest of the same character as that of P. inornata and laying precisely similar eggs.
Drymoeca blanfordi Walden in Blyth's Birds of Burma, p. 118, Aug. 27, 1875 : Thayetmyo, Burma.
Prinia inornata burmanica Harington, Bull. B. O. C, vol. xxxi, p. 111, July 1913 : Mandalay.
Prinia inornata inornata Sykes.
Prinia inornata Sykes, P. Z. S., 1832, p. 89, July 31: Dakhun.
Prinia fusca Hodgs., P. Z. S., Aug. 1845, p. 29, ex Zool. Misc., p. 82, 1844, nom. nud.: Nepal.
Drymoica sericea Blyth, J. A. S. B., vol. xvi, p. 460, 1847, ex Jerdon MS.=: inornata Sykes.
Prinia adamsi Jerdon, Birds of India, vol, ii, p. 170, 1863.
Drymoipus terricolor Hume, Nests & Eggs Ind. Birds, p. 349, 1873.
Drymoica jerdoni Blyth, J. A. S. B., vol. xvi, p. 459, 1847: Ceylon.
Drymoeca insularis Legge, Birds of Ceylon, p. 529, pl. xxv, 1879 : Ceylon.
Prinia inornata Sykes
(Plate xii, Fig. 5, opposite page 242)
Length 5 inches, including tail 2 inches. Sexes alike. Summer plumage : Upper plumage dull earthy-brown, the wings and tail edged with pale fulvous ; the tail long, graduated and cross-rayed ; dark subterminal spots on the feathers are hardly visible except from below. A ring round the eye, and a line above it dull whitish ; the whole lower plumage pale buff.
In winter plumage the whole of the upper parts, wings and tail are more rufous in tint, and the tail is an inch longer.
Iris yellow-brown ; bill black in summer, in winter brown with the base of the lower mandible fleshy ; legs flesh colour.
A plains bird, common in cultivation ; very small, with a long tail; dark brown above, buff below, appearing rather dingy in the field ; black beak noticeable in summer ; makes a curious snapping noise in flight. To be distinguished from the Ashy Wren-Warbler by its dingier plumage and by having the crown brown instead of bluish-ashy.
The Indian Wren-Warbler is found throughout the Indian Empire south of the Himalayas, in the outer fringe of which it occurs up to about 4000 feet, and it also extends farther to the east. It is divided into several races : P. i. franklinii, in the Nilgiris, Palnis and probably also the Travancore range, and P. i. insularis, Ceylon, are very dark in colour, the latter having a very large beak, and showing no difference between the summer and winter plumages. In the typical race, found in Central and Western India, the summer and winter plumages differ as described above. This race grades on the one hand into the paler and more brightly coloured P. i. terricolor of the North-west Frontier Province, Punjab, Sind, and the United Provinces, which has also a much longer tail in winter. P. i. fusca of the Nepal and Sikkim Terai, the Duars and Upper Assam, is more saturated in colour with a more pronounced fulvous wash on the lower parts.
The Pale Bush-Warbler (Homochlamys pallidus Brooks):-Is here mentioned on account of its very remarkable song which attracts attention in spring, and although common the bird itself is difficult to see as it is a great skulker in low dense bush jungle. The song, which is loud and dear for such a small bird, consists of two phrases, the first of five notes and the second of three only, the two phrases separated by an interval of about five seconds. The second part is, moreover, in a different and higher key than the first. Each phrase begins with a long-drawn note and the whole song may be syllabised as follows : " You . . . mixed-it-so-quick," then an interval of five seconds, followed by : " He'll . . . beat you."
This little bird is similar to many of the other small Warblers, is of an olive-brown with pale yellow supercilium and the lower plumage dull greyish. It is found in the breeding season from Kashmir and Hazara to Garhwal and Kumaon at from 7000 to 9000 feet, but its winter quarters are unknown, though some pass through Dehra Dun on passage in spring and autumn. A nearly allied species, but rather smaller and with the upper plumage tinged rufous, is the Strong-footed Bush-Warbler, Homochlamys fortipeSy found from Nepal to the Burmese Hills. It has the same striking song as the Pale Bush-Warbler but with a very slight difference.
This quaint little bird is one of the commonest of Indian resident birds, though from its small size and skulking habits it does not attract much attention. It is particularly a bird of Standing crops, sugar-cane, wheat, millet, and the like, and it is also partial to long grass; in bushes and other low cover it is sometimes found but not so commonly. Bare ground and forest are abhorrent to it. Like others of the Wren-Warblers, it is a poor flier, its top-heavy labouring flight being almost laughable. As is indicated by the large strong legs, its chief mode of progression is on foot, and it spends its life climbing about the stems of the cover in which it lives, threading its way about with dexterity ; when disturbed in the crops it rapidly progresses from stem to stem, then takes to flight over the top of the seed-heads, flies heavily for a yard or two, and finally plunges back into the midst of the cover, where it again commences to climb and hop rapidly along. As it flies it makes a snapping noise almost like the crackle of an electric spark.
While in no sense a migrant, its dependence on crops for cover necessitates a certain amount of local movement according to season. Its skulking habits render it indifferent to the presence of man, and it occurs commonly in the vicinity of houses and villages and in gardens. The food consists of insects.
The song of this bird is a familiar sound in the cultivation, where it lives. It makes up in vigour for what it lacks in beauty, consisting merely of a series of loud jingling wheezy trills, that rather suggest the shaking of a bunch of keys.
The breeding season lasts from March to September.
The nest is a very elegant and distinctive structure, globular or a long purse-shape, domed, with the entrance high on one side; it is semi-transparent, being made of a regular lace-work of fine strips torn from the blades of green grass, woven in and out, and anchored here and there with similar grass-work to the surrounding stems and leaves. There is no lining. It is placed from 3 to 6 feet from the ground in standing crops or clumps of sarpat grass or thorny bushes.
The eggs, too, are very distinctive and beautiful. They are a moderately long oval, with a strong shell, fine in texture and highly glossy. The ground-colour is pale greenish-blue (or rarely pinkish-white) marked boldly with blotches, clouds and fine hair-lines of deep chocolate and reddish-brown.
The egg measures about o.61 by 0.45 inches.
This bird is a favourite foster-parent for the Indian Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus).
Number of Museum Specimen Records Found : 6 for Prinia inornata
|No.||Museum||Species||Collection Deatils||Collector||Date of Collection||Record||Locality||GBIF Portal Link||1||Royal Ontario Museum||Prinia inornata||ROM Birds 01.10.4.821||Specimen||Lahore, British India Punjab Pakistan Southern Asia||Link|
|2||Yale University Peabody Museum||Prinia inornata terricolor||YPM ORN ORN.043184||C. M. Inglis||1898-01-15 00:00:00.0||Specimen||Darbhanga District Bihar State India Southern Asia||Link|
|3||Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates||Prinia inornata||CU CUMV-Bird 14913||1905-09-06 00:00:00.0||Specimen||Goalpara Assam India Southern Asia||Link|
|4||Yale University Peabody Museum||Prinia inornata inornata||YPM ORN ORN.027282||S. Ali||1949-12-10 00:00:00.0||Specimen||Orissa State India Southern Asia||Link|
|5||Yale University Peabody Museum||Prinia inornata||YPM ORN ORN.107313||F. C. Sibley||1975-02-03 00:00:00.0||Specimen||Campbellpur District Baluchistan Province Pakistan Southern Asia||Link|
|6||Avian Knowledge Network||Prinia inornata||CLO Macaulay Library 24941||Ben F King||1981-03-12 00:00:00.0||Unknown||96 km E from: KARACHI; HALEJI LAKE Pakistan Southern Asia||Link|
Biodiversity occurrence data provided by: (Accessed through GBIF Data Portal, 2009-08-06)
- Avian Knowledge Network ( 1 Records )
- Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates ( 1 Records )
- Royal Ontario Museum ( 1 Records )
- Yale University Peabody Museum ( 3 Records )
3 calls found for Prinia inornata
Remarks: Ssp: inornata. excited group along the road in high grass and bushes
Call Type: calls (B)
Remarks: Ssp: blanfordi. One bird carrying food. There was a fledgling nearby.
Call Type: call (B)
Call Type: song (B)
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Anonymous. 2013 Prinia inornata - Sykes, 1832 (Plain Prinia ) in Deomurari, A.N. (Compiler), 2010. AVIS-IBIS (Avian Information System - Indian BioDiversity Information System) v. 1.0. Foundation For Ecological Security, India retrieved on 05/22/2013