• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Black-throated Parrotbill - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Ashy-eared Parrotbill; Nepal Parrotbill; Orange Parrotbill; Orange Suthora

Photo by Rajkumar Das
Mishmi Hill, Arunachal Pradesh, India, September 2017
Suthora nipalensis

Includes Grey-capped Parrotbill; Orange-eared Parrotbill; Grey-breasted Parrotbill; Buff-breasted Parrotbill and Black-eared Parrotbill


11·5 cm (4½ in). A very variable, tiny parrotbill.

  • Tiny, blackish bill
  • Black lateral crown stripe and throat-patch
  • White face, short brow and moustache
  • Warm brown above
  • Mostly orange-rufous wings and tail with silvery and black wing-slashes

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a smaller and paler bill and a smaller and duller throat-patch


  • Grey-capped Parrotbill (see taxonomy) with grey crown and cheek and bright rufous-buff breast and flanks
  • Orange-eared Parrotbill (see taxonomy) with orange-rufous ear-coverts
  • Grey-breasted Parrotbill (see taxonomy) with rufous crown and grey underparts
  • Buff-breasted Parrotbill (see taxonomy) like Grey-capped with buff breast but with rufous crown
  • Black-eared Parrotbill (see taxonomy) with black ear-coverts, rufous crown, whitish underparts with buff flanks


Found from north India east along the Himalayas to Nepal, Bhutan, northeast India, parts of Burma, south China (Yunnan), north Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
Common in parts of its range. Generally more common in the Himalayas than in the east of range.


This species was formerly placed in the genus Paradoxornis.
It was also considered conspecific with Golden Parrotbill.


9 to 10 subspecies recognized which are sometimes split into 5 full species:

  • Suthora nipalensis - Black-throated Parrotbill
    • S. n. garhwalensis in north India (Uttarkhand)
    • S. n. nipalensis in west and central Nepal
  • Suthora humii - Orange-eared Parrotbill
  • Suthora poliotis - Grey-breasted Parrotbill
  • Suthora ripponi - Buff-breasted Parrotbill
    • S. n. patriciae in Mizoram (northeast India)
    • S. n. ripponi in Myanmar (Mt. Victoria)
  • Suthora beaulieui - Black-eared Parrotbill


Bamboo and undergrowth in broadleaf evergreen, oak, rhododendron or mixed deciduous forest. Occurs at 1525 - 3300 in the Indian Subcontinent, 1200 - 2650m in southeast Asia.



Feeds on small insects, bamboo buds, bits of bamboo and grass seeds.
Usually seen in groups of 3 to 40 or more birds, often associated with other species like babblers. Flocks are moving very fast.


Breeding season from March to July. The nest is a tiny cup-shaped structure made of bamboo leaves and fine grasses. It's placed close to the ground in a cluster of twigs, bamboo or a thick bush. Lays 2 - 4 eggs.


Residents species with some altitudinal movements in cold winters.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553453
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672
  4. Gill, F. and Donsker, D. (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird Names (version 7.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.