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Ashy-throated Parrotbill - BirdForum Opus

Inset is of the commoner Vinous-throated Parrotbill
Photo by china guy
Chengdu, Sichuan,China
Sinosuthora alphonsiana


12.5 - 13cm. A medium-sized parrotbill:

  • Chestnut crown to nape, sharply demarcated from cold dark brown upperparts
  • Dark brown upperwing and tail
  • Dark chestnut fringed flight-feathers and tertials
  • Dark brownish-grey lores to head side, neck side and breast
  • Grey throat with narrow dark streaks

Sexes similar, juveniles more uniformely chestnut-tinged.

Similar species

Differs from Vinous-throated Parrotbill by brownish-grey head side, throat and breast, more sharply defined chestnut crown to nape, darker upperparts and darker chestnut fringing on wings.


Found in south China (Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan) and extreme northern Vietnam. An introduced population in Lombardy, northwest Italy.
Fairly common in its restricted race. Found at Palude Brabbia Regional Nature Reserve in Italy in mixed flocks with Vinous-throated Parrotbill, beiing the commoner of the two.



There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • S. a. alphonsiana:
  • Mountains of west-central China (eastern Qinghai, eastern Sichuan and Guizhou)
  • S. a. yunnanensis:
  • Montane forests of southern China (south-eastern Yunnan) and north-western Tonkin

Two other subspecies: stresemanni and ganluoensis[1] are not recognised by all authorities.
This species was also sometimes regarded conspecific with Vinous-throated Parrotbill.
This species was formerly placed in the genus Paradoxornis.


Grass, scrub, thickets, forest edge and tea plantations. In Italy in reed and marshland. Occurs at 320 - 2350m in China.


Outside breeding season seen in fast-moving groups of 10 to 40 birds, sometimes associating with Vinous-throated Parrotbill.


Feeds on seeds.


Breeding season from April to August. The nest is a cup-shaped structure made of bamboo and other leaves and grass. It's placed 0.5 - 1-5m above the ground in a branch fork of a small tree or bush or in a clump of bamboo or grass. Lays 2 - 6 eggs.
Resident species.



Recording by china guy, Sichuan, China, August 2011


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  3. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.