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Brown-winged Parrotbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Dr. Wendy Wright and Dr. Steb Fisher
100km SE of Xichang, Sichuan, China
Sinosuthora brunnea

Includes: Rickett's or Yunnan Parrotbill


12 - 13cm.

  • Bright chestnut crown to uppermost mantle and head side
  • Warm brown upperparts, upperwings and tail
  • Vinous throat and upper breast with darker chestnut streaks
  • Pale belly, buff-tinged rest of underparts
  • White orbital skin
  • Brownish-yellow to whitish-yellow bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles have a duller and paler crown and uppermost mantle.

Similar species

Differs from Vinous-throated Parrotbill by brighter crown which contrasts more with upperparts, plain wings (no chestnut) and darker chestnut streaks on throat and breast.


South China (Yunnan and Sichuan) and north Burma.
Uncommon to fairly common in its restricted range.


Three subspecies accepted:

  • S. b. brunnea in east and central Burma and east ot south China (Yunnan)
  • S. b. styani in Dali region, Yunnan (China)
  • S. b. ricketti from southwest Sichuan to northeast Yunnan

The latter is sometimes accepted as full species, Rickett's or Yunnan Parrotbill.
This species was also sometimes regarded conspecific with Vinous-throated Parrotbill.
This species was formerly placed in the genus Paradoxornis.


Found in scrub, grass and thickets. Sometimes in open forest or at forest edge. At 1525 - 2375m in Burma, 1830 - 2800m in China.


Feeds on grass and seeds.
Outside breeding season usually seen in pairs or fast-moving groups of up to 35 or more birds.
Breeding season from April to June. The nest is a deep compact cup-shaped structure made of grasses. It's placed up to 60cm above the ground in grass, brambles or rushes. Lays 2 - 4 egggs.
Resident species.


  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

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